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Sample records for reveal functionally important

  1. Identification of genes important for cutaneous function revealed by a large scale reverse genetic screen in the mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tia DiTommaso

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The skin is a highly regenerative organ which plays critical roles in protecting the body and sensing its environment. Consequently, morbidity and mortality associated with skin defects represent a significant health issue. To identify genes important in skin development and homeostasis, we have applied a high throughput, multi-parameter phenotype screen to the conditional targeted mutant mice generated by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Mouse Genetics Project (Sanger-MGP. A total of 562 different mouse lines were subjected to a variety of tests assessing cutaneous expression, macroscopic clinical disease, histological change, hair follicle cycling, and aberrant marker expression. Cutaneous lesions were associated with mutations in 23 different genes. Many of these were not previously associated with skin disease in the organ (Mysm1, Vangl1, Trpc4ap, Nom1, Sparc, Farp2, and Prkab1, while others were ascribed new cutaneous functions on the basis of the screening approach (Krt76, Lrig1, Myo5a, Nsun2, and Nf1. The integration of these skin specific screening protocols into the Sanger-MGP primary phenotyping pipelines marks the largest reported reverse genetic screen undertaken in any organ and defines approaches to maximise the productivity of future projects of this nature, while flagging genes for further characterisation.

  2. Phenotypic characterization of miR-92a-/- mice reveals an important function of miR-92a in skeletal development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Penzkofer

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs, miRs emerged as key regulators of gene expression. Germline hemizygous deletion of the gene that encodes the miR-17∼92 miRNA cluster was associated with microcephaly, short stature and digital abnormalities in humans. Mice deficient for the miR-17∼92 cluster phenocopy several features such as growth and skeletal development defects and exhibit impaired B cell development. However, the individual contribution of miR-17∼92 cluster members to this phenotype is unknown. Here we show that germline deletion of miR-92a in mice is not affecting heart development and does not reduce circulating or bone marrow-derived hematopoietic cells, but induces skeletal defects. MiR-92a-/- mice are born at a reduced Mendelian ratio, but surviving mice are viable and fertile. However, body weight of miR-92a-/- mice was reduced during embryonic and postnatal development and adulthood. A significantly reduced body and skull length was observed in miR-92a-/- mice compared to wild type littermates. µCT analysis revealed that the length of the 5th mesophalanx to 5th metacarpal bone of the forelimbs was significantly reduced, but bones of the hindlimbs were not altered. Bone density was not affected. These findings demonstrate that deletion of miR-92a is sufficient to induce a developmental skeletal defect.

  3. Functional importance of PAI-1 glycosylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Anni; Naessens, Dominik; Skottrup, Peter

    2001-01-01

    Structure-function studies of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) have previously been performed mostly with non-glycosylated material expressed in E. coli. We have now studied the importance of PAI-1 glycosylation for its functional properties. PAI-1 has 3 potential sites for N......-glycosylated PAI-1 could be conferred upon PAI-1 expressed in HEK293 cells by mutational inactivation of one or the other glycosylation site. These findings reveal a novel functional role for glycosylation of a serpin. The glycosylation sites are localised between a-helix H and b-strand 2C and b-strand 3C and a...

  4. Functional Comparison of Bacteria from the Human Gut and Closely Related Non-Gut Bacteria Reveals the Importance of Conjugation and a Paucity of Motility and Chemotaxis Functions in the Gut Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrijevic, Dragana; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Jamet, Alexandre; Maguin, Emmanuelle; van de Guchte, Maarten

    2016-01-01

    The human GI tract is a complex and still poorly understood environment, inhabited by one of the densest microbial communities on earth. The gut microbiota is shaped by millennia of evolution to co-exist with the host in commensal or symbiotic relationships. Members of the gut microbiota perform specific molecular functions important in the human gut environment. This can be illustrated by the presence of a highly expanded repertoire of proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism, in phase with the large diversity of polysaccharides originating from the diet or from the host itself that can be encountered in this environment. In order to identify other bacterial functions that are important in the human gut environment, we investigated the distribution of functional groups of proteins in a group of human gut bacteria and their close non-gut relatives. Complementary to earlier global comparisons between different ecosystems, this approach should allow a closer focus on a group of functions directly related to the gut environment while avoiding functions related to taxonomically divergent microbiota composition, which may or may not be relevant for gut homeostasis. We identified several functions that are overrepresented in the human gut bacteria which had not been recognized in a global approach. The observed under-representation of certain other functions may be equally important for gut homeostasis. Together, these analyses provide us with new information about this environment so critical to our health and well-being.

  5. Functional Comparison of Bacteria from the Human Gut and Closely Related Non-Gut Bacteria Reveals the Importance of Conjugation and a Paucity of Motility and Chemotaxis Functions in the Gut Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragana Dobrijevic

    Full Text Available The human GI tract is a complex and still poorly understood environment, inhabited by one of the densest microbial communities on earth. The gut microbiota is shaped by millennia of evolution to co-exist with the host in commensal or symbiotic relationships. Members of the gut microbiota perform specific molecular functions important in the human gut environment. This can be illustrated by the presence of a highly expanded repertoire of proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism, in phase with the large diversity of polysaccharides originating from the diet or from the host itself that can be encountered in this environment. In order to identify other bacterial functions that are important in the human gut environment, we investigated the distribution of functional groups of proteins in a group of human gut bacteria and their close non-gut relatives. Complementary to earlier global comparisons between different ecosystems, this approach should allow a closer focus on a group of functions directly related to the gut environment while avoiding functions related to taxonomically divergent microbiota composition, which may or may not be relevant for gut homeostasis. We identified several functions that are overrepresented in the human gut bacteria which had not been recognized in a global approach. The observed under-representation of certain other functions may be equally important for gut homeostasis. Together, these analyses provide us with new information about this environment so critical to our health and well-being.

  6. Adaptive Importance Sampling with a Rapidly Varying Importance Function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Booth, Thomas E.

    2000-01-01

    It is known well that zero-variance Monte Carlo solutions are possible if an exact importance function is available to bias the random walks. Monte Carlo can be used to estimate the importance function. This estimated importance function then can be used to bias a subsequent Monte Carlo calculation that estimates an even better importance function; this iterative process is called adaptive importance sampling.To obtain the importance function, one can expand the importance function in a basis such as the Legendre polynomials and make Monte Carlo estimates of the expansion coefficients. For simple problems, Legendre expansions of order 10 to 15 are able to represent the importance function well enough to reduce the error geometrically by ten orders of magnitude or more. The more complicated problems are addressed in which the importance function cannot be represented well by Legendre expansions of order 10 to 15. In particular, a problem with a cross-section notch and a problem with a discontinuous cross section are considered

  7. Functional importance of PAI-1 glycosylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Anni; Naessens, Dominik; Skottrup, Peter

    susceptible PAI-1 variant was not necessarily the one used when raising the antibody. This and other observations indicated that the carbohydrate moieties or the glycosylation sites are unlikely to be part of the epitopes for these antibodies. The antibody susceptibility characteristic for non......Structure-function studies of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) have previously been performed mostly with non-glycosylated material expressed in E. coli. We have now studied the importance of PAI-1 glycosylation for its functional properties. PAI-1 has 3 potential sites for N......-linked glycosylation. Biochemical analysis of PAI-1 variants with substitutions of the Asn residues in each of these sites and expression in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells showed that only Asn211 and Asn 267, but not Asn331 are glycosylated, and revealed a differential composition of the carbohydrate...

  8. Chief Business Officers' Functions: Responsibilities and Importance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calver, Richard A.; Vogler, Daniel E.

    1985-01-01

    Reports on a survey of 177 chief business officers of public community colleges regarding their responsibilities and the importance they assigned to various role functions. Highlights findings concerning the perceived importance of fiscal/financial duties; endowments as a job function; role in shared planning; and personal attention given to…

  9. Importance sampling the Rayleigh phase function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frisvad, Jeppe Revall

    2011-01-01

    Rayleigh scattering is used frequently in Monte Carlo simulation of multiple scattering. The Rayleigh phase function is quite simple, and one might expect that it should be simple to importance sample it efficiently. However, there seems to be no one good way of sampling it in the literature....... This paper provides the details of several different techniques for importance sampling the Rayleigh phase function, and it includes a comparison of their performance as well as hints toward efficient implementation....

  10. Growth of a Functionally Important Lexicon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zechmeister, Eugene B.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Uses a dictionary-sampling method and multiple-choice testing of word knowledge to estimate the lexicon size of junior-high students, college students, and older adults. Suggests that there may yet be a role for direct instruction in affecting lexicon size of functionally important words. (SR)

  11. Numerical computation of generalized importance functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomit, J.M.; Nasr, M.; Ngyuen van Chi, G.; Pasquet, J.P.; Planchard, J.

    1981-01-01

    Thus far, an important effort has been devoted to developing and applying generalized perturbation theory in reactor physics analysis. In this work we are interested in the calculation of the importance functions by the method of A. Gandini. We have noted that in this method the convergence of the iterative procedure adopted is not rapid. Hence to accelerate this convergence we have used the semi-iterative technique. Two computer codes have been developed for one and two dimensional calculations (SPHINX-1D and SPHINX-2D). The advantage of our calculation was confirmed by some comparative tests in which the iteration number and the computing time were highly reduced with respect to classical calculation (CIAP-1D and CIAP-2D). (orig.) [de

  12. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  13. Comparative mapping reveals similar linkage of functional genes to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    genes between O. sativa and B. napus may have consistent function and control similar traits, which may be ..... acea chromosomes reveals islands of conserved organization. ... 1998 Conserved structure and function of the Arabidopsis flow-.

  14. Identifying and annotating human bifunctional RNAs reveals their versatile functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Geng; Yang, Juan; Chen, Jiwei; Song, Yunjie; Cao, Ruifang; Shi, Tieliu; Shi, Leming

    2016-10-01

    Bifunctional RNAs that possess both protein-coding and noncoding functional properties were less explored and poorly understood. Here we systematically explored the characteristics and functions of such human bifunctional RNAs by integrating tandem mass spectrometry and RNA-seq data. We first constructed a pipeline to identify and annotate bifunctional RNAs, leading to the characterization of 132 high-confidence bifunctional RNAs. Our analyses indicate that bifunctional RNAs may be involved in human embryonic development and can be functional in diverse tissues. Moreover, bifunctional RNAs could interact with multiple miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins to exert their corresponding roles. Bifunctional RNAs may also function as competing endogenous RNAs to regulate the expression of many genes by competing for common targeting miRNAs. Finally, somatic mutations of diverse carcinomas may generate harmful effect on corresponding bifunctional RNAs. Collectively, our study not only provides the pipeline for identifying and annotating bifunctional RNAs but also reveals their important gene-regulatory functions.

  15. Adaptively Learning an Importance Function Using Transport Constrained Monte Carlo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Booth, T.E.

    1998-01-01

    It is well known that a Monte Carlo estimate can be obtained with zero-variance if an exact importance function for the estimate is known. There are many ways that one might iteratively seek to obtain an ever more exact importance function. This paper describes a method that has obtained ever more exact importance functions that empirically produce an error that is dropping exponentially with computer time. The method described herein constrains the importance function to satisfy the (adjoint) Boltzmann transport equation. This constraint is provided by using the known form of the solution, usually referred to as the Case eigenfunction solution

  16. estimating an aggregate import demand function for ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    we estimate an import demand function for Ghana for the period 1970 to ... results also indicate that economic growth (real GDP) and depreciation in the ... 80% of shocks to real exchange rates, merchandise imports and GDP ... imports; capital goods, 43 percent; intermediate ... merchandise imports (World Bank, 2004). For.

  17. Importance of predictor variables for models of chemical function

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Importance of random forest predictors for all classification models of chemical function. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Isaacs , K., M....

  18. 77 FR 34121 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Revealing the African...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-08

    ... exhibition ``Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe'' imported from abroad for temporary... exhibit objects at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, from on or about October 14, 2012, until on or about January 21, 2013; at the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, from on or about February...

  19. Estimating Aggregate Import-Demand Function In Nigeria: A Co ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper investigates the behaviour of Nigeria's aggregate imports between the periods 1980-2005. In the empirical analysis of the aggregate import demand function for Nigeria, cointegration and Error Correction modeling approaches have been used. Our econometric estimates suggest that real GDP largely explains ...

  20. Genome-Wide Association and Functional Follow-Up Reveals New Loci for Kidney Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchsberger, Christian; Olden, Matthias; Chen, Ming-Huei; Tin, Adrienne; Taliun, Daniel; Li, Man; Gao, Xiaoyi; Gorski, Mathias; Yang, Qiong; Hundertmark, Claudia; Foster, Meredith C.; O'Seaghdha, Conall M.; Glazer, Nicole; Isaacs, Aaron; Liu, Ching-Ti; Smith, Albert V.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Struchalin, Maksim; Tanaka, Toshiko; Li, Guo; Johnson, Andrew D.; Gierman, Hinco J.; Feitosa, Mary; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Atkinson, Elizabeth J.; Lohman, Kurt; Cornelis, Marilyn C.; Johansson, Åsa; Tönjes, Anke; Dehghan, Abbas; Chouraki, Vincent; Holliday, Elizabeth G.; Sorice, Rossella; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lehtimäki, Terho; Esko, Tõnu; Deshmukh, Harshal; Ulivi, Sheila; Chu, Audrey Y.; Murgia, Federico; Trompet, Stella; Imboden, Medea; Kollerits, Barbara; Pistis, Giorgio; Harris, Tamara B.; Launer, Lenore J.; Aspelund, Thor; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Mitchell, Braxton D.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Cavalieri, Margherita; Rao, Madhumathi; Hu, Frank B.; Demirkan, Ayse; Oostra, Ben A.; de Andrade, Mariza; Turner, Stephen T.; Ding, Jingzhong; Andrews, Jeanette S.; Freedman, Barry I.; Koenig, Wolfgang; Illig, Thomas; Döring, Angela; Wichmann, H.-Erich; Kolcic, Ivana; Zemunik, Tatijana; Boban, Mladen; Minelli, Cosetta; Wheeler, Heather E.; Igl, Wilmar; Zaboli, Ghazal; Wild, Sarah H.; Wright, Alan F.; Campbell, Harry; Ellinghaus, David; Nöthlings, Ute; Jacobs, Gunnar; Biffar, Reiner; Endlich, Karlhans; Ernst, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Kroemer, Heyo K.; Nauck, Matthias; Stracke, Sylvia; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Mägi, Reedik; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Aulchenko, Yurii S.; Polasek, Ozren; Hastie, Nick; Vitart, Veronique; Helmer, Catherine; Wang, Jie Jin; Ruggiero, Daniela; Bergmann, Sven; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Nikopensius, Tiit; Province, Michael; Ketkar, Shamika; Colhoun, Helen; Doney, Alex; Robino, Antonietta; Giulianini, Franco; Krämer, Bernhard K.; Portas, Laura; Ford, Ian; Buckley, Brendan M.; Adam, Martin; Thun, Gian-Andri; Paulweber, Bernhard; Haun, Margot; Sala, Cinzia; Metzger, Marie; Mitchell, Paul; Ciullo, Marina; Kim, Stuart K.; Vollenweider, Peter; Raitakari, Olli; Metspalu, Andres; Palmer, Colin; Gasparini, Paolo; Pirastu, Mario; Jukema, J. Wouter; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M.; Kronenberg, Florian; Toniolo, Daniela; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Coresh, Josef; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ferrucci, Luigi; Siscovick, David S.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Borecki, Ingrid; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Liu, Yongmei; Curhan, Gary C.; Rudan, Igor; Gyllensten, Ulf; Wilson, James F.; Franke, Andre; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Rettig, Rainer; Prokopenko, Inga; Witteman, Jacqueline C. M.; Hayward, Caroline; Ridker, Paul; Parsa, Afshin; Bochud, Murielle; Heid, Iris M.; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I.; Kao, W. H. Linda; Fox, Caroline S.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important public health problem with a genetic component. We performed genome-wide association studies in up to 130,600 European ancestry participants overall, and stratified for key CKD risk factors. We uncovered 6 new loci in association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), the primary clinical measure of CKD, in or near MPPED2, DDX1, SLC47A1, CDK12, CASP9, and INO80. Morpholino knockdown of mpped2 and casp9 in zebrafish embryos revealed podocyte and tubular abnormalities with altered dextran clearance, suggesting a role for these genes in renal function. By providing new insights into genes that regulate renal function, these results could further our understanding of the pathogenesis of CKD. PMID:22479191

  1. Genome-wide association and functional follow-up reveals new loci for kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Köttgen, Anna; Teumer, Alexander; Garnaas, Maija; Böger, Carsten A; Fuchsberger, Christian; Olden, Matthias; Chen, Ming-Huei; Tin, Adrienne; Taliun, Daniel; Li, Man; Gao, Xiaoyi; Gorski, Mathias; Yang, Qiong; Hundertmark, Claudia; Foster, Meredith C; O'Seaghdha, Conall M; Glazer, Nicole; Isaacs, Aaron; Liu, Ching-Ti; Smith, Albert V; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Struchalin, Maksim; Tanaka, Toshiko; Li, Guo; Johnson, Andrew D; Gierman, Hinco J; Feitosa, Mary; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Lohman, Kurt; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Johansson, Åsa; Tönjes, Anke; Dehghan, Abbas; Chouraki, Vincent; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Sorice, Rossella; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lehtimäki, Terho; Esko, Tõnu; Deshmukh, Harshal; Ulivi, Sheila; Chu, Audrey Y; Murgia, Federico; Trompet, Stella; Imboden, Medea; Kollerits, Barbara; Pistis, Giorgio; Harris, Tamara B; Launer, Lenore J; Aspelund, Thor; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Mitchell, Braxton D; Boerwinkle, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Cavalieri, Margherita; Rao, Madhumathi; Hu, Frank B; Demirkan, Ayse; Oostra, Ben A; de Andrade, Mariza; Turner, Stephen T; Ding, Jingzhong; Andrews, Jeanette S; Freedman, Barry I; Koenig, Wolfgang; Illig, Thomas; Döring, Angela; Wichmann, H-Erich; Kolcic, Ivana; Zemunik, Tatijana; Boban, Mladen; Minelli, Cosetta; Wheeler, Heather E; Igl, Wilmar; Zaboli, Ghazal; Wild, Sarah H; Wright, Alan F; Campbell, Harry; Ellinghaus, David; Nöthlings, Ute; Jacobs, Gunnar; Biffar, Reiner; Endlich, Karlhans; Ernst, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Kroemer, Heyo K; Nauck, Matthias; Stracke, Sylvia; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Mägi, Reedik; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Aulchenko, Yurii S; Polasek, Ozren; Hastie, Nick; Vitart, Veronique; Helmer, Catherine; Wang, Jie Jin; Ruggiero, Daniela; Bergmann, Sven; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Nikopensius, Tiit; Province, Michael; Ketkar, Shamika; Colhoun, Helen; Doney, Alex; Robino, Antonietta; Giulianini, Franco; Krämer, Bernhard K; Portas, Laura; Ford, Ian; Buckley, Brendan M; Adam, Martin; Thun, Gian-Andri; Paulweber, Bernhard; Haun, Margot; Sala, Cinzia; Metzger, Marie; Mitchell, Paul; Ciullo, Marina; Kim, Stuart K; Vollenweider, Peter; Raitakari, Olli; Metspalu, Andres; Palmer, Colin; Gasparini, Paolo; Pirastu, Mario; Jukema, J Wouter; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M; Kronenberg, Florian; Toniolo, Daniela; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Shuldiner, Alan R; Coresh, Josef; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ferrucci, Luigi; Siscovick, David S; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Borecki, Ingrid; Kardia, Sharon L R; Liu, Yongmei; Curhan, Gary C; Rudan, Igor; Gyllensten, Ulf; Wilson, James F; Franke, Andre; Pramstaller, Peter P; Rettig, Rainer; Prokopenko, Inga; Witteman, Jacqueline C M; Hayward, Caroline; Ridker, Paul; Parsa, Afshin; Bochud, Murielle; Heid, Iris M; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S

    2012-01-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important public health problem with a genetic component. We performed genome-wide association studies in up to 130,600 European ancestry participants overall, and stratified for key CKD risk factors. We uncovered 6 new loci in association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), the primary clinical measure of CKD, in or near MPPED2, DDX1, SLC47A1, CDK12, CASP9, and INO80. Morpholino knockdown of mpped2 and casp9 in zebrafish embryos revealed podocyte and tubular abnormalities with altered dextran clearance, suggesting a role for these genes in renal function. By providing new insights into genes that regulate renal function, these results could further our understanding of the pathogenesis of CKD.

  2. Genome-wide association and functional follow-up reveals new loci for kidney function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Pattaro

    Full Text Available Chronic kidney disease (CKD is an important public health problem with a genetic component. We performed genome-wide association studies in up to 130,600 European ancestry participants overall, and stratified for key CKD risk factors. We uncovered 6 new loci in association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, the primary clinical measure of CKD, in or near MPPED2, DDX1, SLC47A1, CDK12, CASP9, and INO80. Morpholino knockdown of mpped2 and casp9 in zebrafish embryos revealed podocyte and tubular abnormalities with altered dextran clearance, suggesting a role for these genes in renal function. By providing new insights into genes that regulate renal function, these results could further our understanding of the pathogenesis of CKD.

  3. Novel candidate genes important for asthma and hypertension comorbidity revealed from associative gene networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saik, Olga V; Demenkov, Pavel S; Ivanisenko, Timofey V; Bragina, Elena Yu; Freidin, Maxim B; Goncharova, Irina A; Dosenko, Victor E; Zolotareva, Olga I; Hofestaedt, Ralf; Lavrik, Inna N; Rogaev, Evgeny I; Ivanisenko, Vladimir A

    2018-02-13

    Hypertension and bronchial asthma are a major issue for people's health. As of 2014, approximately one billion adults, or ~ 22% of the world population, have had hypertension. As of 2011, 235-330 million people globally have been affected by asthma and approximately 250,000-345,000 people have died each year from the disease. The development of the effective treatment therapies against these diseases is complicated by their comorbidity features. This is often a major problem in diagnosis and their treatment. Hence, in this study the bioinformatical methodology for the analysis of the comorbidity of these two diseases have been developed. As such, the search for candidate genes related to the comorbid conditions of asthma and hypertension can help in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the comorbid condition of these two diseases, and can also be useful for genotyping and identifying new drug targets. Using ANDSystem, the reconstruction and analysis of gene networks associated with asthma and hypertension was carried out. The gene network of asthma included 755 genes/proteins and 62,603 interactions, while the gene network of hypertension - 713 genes/proteins and 45,479 interactions. Two hundred and five genes/proteins and 9638 interactions were shared between asthma and hypertension. An approach for ranking genes implicated in the comorbid condition of two diseases was proposed. The approach is based on nine criteria for ranking genes by their importance, including standard methods of gene prioritization (Endeavor, ToppGene) as well as original criteria that take into account the characteristics of an associative gene network and the presence of known polymorphisms in the analysed genes. According to the proposed approach, the genes IL10, TLR4, and CAT had the highest priority in the development of comorbidity of these two diseases. Additionally, it was revealed that the list of top genes is enriched with apoptotic genes and genes involved in

  4. Risk Importance Determination Process of CANDU Maintenance Rule Function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, Mi Ro; Jo, Ha Yan; Hwang, Mi Jeong

    2009-01-01

    In Korea, Maintenance Rule (MR) programs development for all PWR were completed. However, in case of PHWR (CANDU type, Wolsong Unit 1,2,3,4), the study of MR program was delayed, since the design concepts and operating experiences are different from those of PWR. This paper describes the process and results for the risk importance determination process of functions in scope. The risk importance was determined by PSA Basic Event Mapping and Delphi method. For Delphi evaluation, Delphi evaluation item for CANDU need to be developed because the design and normal operation functions are different from PWR

  5. Memory functions reveal structural properties of gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Carrasco, Ruben

    2018-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) control cellular function and decision making during tissue development and homeostasis. Mathematical tools based on dynamical systems theory are often used to model these networks, but the size and complexity of these models mean that their behaviour is not always intuitive and the underlying mechanisms can be difficult to decipher. For this reason, methods that simplify and aid exploration of complex networks are necessary. To this end we develop a broadly applicable form of the Zwanzig-Mori projection. By first converting a thermodynamic state ensemble model of gene regulation into mass action reactions we derive a general method that produces a set of time evolution equations for a subset of components of a network. The influence of the rest of the network, the bulk, is captured by memory functions that describe how the subnetwork reacts to its own past state via components in the bulk. These memory functions provide probes of near-steady state dynamics, revealing information not easily accessible otherwise. We illustrate the method on a simple cross-repressive transcriptional motif to show that memory functions not only simplify the analysis of the subnetwork but also have a natural interpretation. We then apply the approach to a GRN from the vertebrate neural tube, a well characterised developmental transcriptional network composed of four interacting transcription factors. The memory functions reveal the function of specific links within the neural tube network and identify features of the regulatory structure that specifically increase the robustness of the network to initial conditions. Taken together, the study provides evidence that Zwanzig-Mori projections offer powerful and effective tools for simplifying and exploring the behaviour of GRNs. PMID:29470492

  6. Logging cuts the functional importance of invertebrates in tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, Robert M; Boyle, Michael J W; Gleave, Rosalind A; Plowman, Nichola S; Benedick, Suzan; Bernard, Henry; Bishop, Tom R; Bakhtiar, Effendi Y; Chey, Vun Khen; Chung, Arthur Y C; Davies, Richard G; Edwards, David P; Eggleton, Paul; Fayle, Tom M; Hardwick, Stephen R; Homathevi, Rahman; Kitching, Roger L; Khoo, Min Sheng; Luke, Sarah H; March, Joshua J; Nilus, Reuben; Pfeifer, Marion; Rao, Sri V; Sharp, Adam C; Snaddon, Jake L; Stork, Nigel E; Struebig, Matthew J; Wearn, Oliver R; Yusah, Kalsum M; Turner, Edgar C

    2015-04-13

    Invertebrates are dominant species in primary tropical rainforests, where their abundance and diversity contributes to the functioning and resilience of these globally important ecosystems. However, more than one-third of tropical forests have been logged, with dramatic impacts on rainforest biodiversity that may disrupt key ecosystem processes. We find that the contribution of invertebrates to three ecosystem processes operating at three trophic levels (litter decomposition, seed predation and removal, and invertebrate predation) is reduced by up to one-half following logging. These changes are associated with decreased abundance of key functional groups of termites, ants, beetles and earthworms, and an increase in the abundance of small mammals, amphibians and insectivorous birds in logged relative to primary forest. Our results suggest that ecosystem processes themselves have considerable resilience to logging, but the consistent decline of invertebrate functional importance is indicative of a human-induced shift in how these ecological processes operate in tropical rainforests.

  7. Logging cuts the functional importance of invertebrates in tropical rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, Robert M.; Boyle, Michael J. W.; Gleave, Rosalind A.; Plowman, Nichola S.; Benedick, Suzan; Bernard, Henry; Bishop, Tom R.; Bakhtiar, Effendi Y.; Chey, Vun Khen; Chung, Arthur Y. C.; Davies, Richard G.; Edwards, David P.; Eggleton, Paul; Fayle, Tom M.; Hardwick, Stephen R.; Homathevi, Rahman; Kitching, Roger L.; Khoo, Min Sheng; Luke, Sarah H.; March, Joshua J.; Nilus, Reuben; Pfeifer, Marion; Rao, Sri V.; Sharp, Adam C.; Snaddon, Jake L.; Stork, Nigel E.; Struebig, Matthew J.; Wearn, Oliver R.; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Turner, Edgar C.

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrates are dominant species in primary tropical rainforests, where their abundance and diversity contributes to the functioning and resilience of these globally important ecosystems. However, more than one-third of tropical forests have been logged, with dramatic impacts on rainforest biodiversity that may disrupt key ecosystem processes. We find that the contribution of invertebrates to three ecosystem processes operating at three trophic levels (litter decomposition, seed predation and removal, and invertebrate predation) is reduced by up to one-half following logging. These changes are associated with decreased abundance of key functional groups of termites, ants, beetles and earthworms, and an increase in the abundance of small mammals, amphibians and insectivorous birds in logged relative to primary forest. Our results suggest that ecosystem processes themselves have considerable resilience to logging, but the consistent decline of invertebrate functional importance is indicative of a human-induced shift in how these ecological processes operate in tropical rainforests. PMID:25865801

  8. Uncertainty importance analysis using parametric moment ratio functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Pengfei; Lu, Zhenzhou; Song, Jingwen

    2014-02-01

    This article presents a new importance analysis framework, called parametric moment ratio function, for measuring the reduction of model output uncertainty when the distribution parameters of inputs are changed, and the emphasis is put on the mean and variance ratio functions with respect to the variances of model inputs. The proposed concepts efficiently guide the analyst to achieve a targeted reduction on the model output mean and variance by operating on the variances of model inputs. The unbiased and progressive unbiased Monte Carlo estimators are also derived for the parametric mean and variance ratio functions, respectively. Only a set of samples is needed for implementing the proposed importance analysis by the proposed estimators, thus the computational cost is free of input dimensionality. An analytical test example with highly nonlinear behavior is introduced for illustrating the engineering significance of the proposed importance analysis technique and verifying the efficiency and convergence of the derived Monte Carlo estimators. Finally, the moment ratio function is applied to a planar 10-bar structure for achieving a targeted 50% reduction of the model output variance. © 2013 Society for Risk Analysis.

  9. Rudimentary functions:Important reminders of history and relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Y. Collings

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. When Vygotsky suggested the term rudimentary functions for psychological phenomena, he drew a parallel with organismic rudiments that existed and continue to exist in a number of biological species. These rudiments used to play an important role in the life of an organism and allow us to study that life in the process of its development. Vygotsky originally gave three explicit examples of psychological rudimentary functions: 1 attributing an important decision to the result of a solitaire card game, 2 tying a knot in a handkerchief in order to remember and do something later, and 3 counting on one’s fingers. Objective. The purpose of this article is to offer a contemporary overview and paths for development of L.S. Vygotsky’s notion of rudimentary function. Design. This paper, in the genre of a theoretical article, drew on existing research and theoretical literature to advance a theory. I analyzed Vygotsky’s original example of a solitaire game and similar actions (for example, flipping a coin, arguing that these actions represent key events mediating choice and exercising human will over affect. I then focused on three more psychological functions that fit Vygotsky’s definition of rudiments: 1 photographic memory and déjà vu as instances of historically primitive eidetic memory, 2 talking to oneself aloud as a rudiment of a key event forming the self-regulatory mechanism of inner speech in childhood, and 3 fantasizing, which could remind us of our young age, when imagination readily created what was lacking in external world. Results. This analysis allowed me to vividly illustrate the historical and relational focus of Vygotsky’s theories. Conclusions. Rudimentary functions, often perceived as mysterious, in their simplicity can be powerful reminders that historically primitive functions do not disappear, but enter complex relationships with other psychological functions, and that many relationships are possible within

  10. Reveal genes functionally associated with ACADS by a network study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yulong; Su, Zhiguang

    2015-09-15

    Establishing a systematic network is aimed at finding essential human gene-gene/gene-disease pathway by means of network inter-connecting patterns and functional annotation analysis. In the present study, we have analyzed functional gene interactions of short-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase gene (ACADS). ACADS plays a vital role in free fatty acid β-oxidation and regulates energy homeostasis. Modules of highly inter-connected genes in disease-specific ACADS network are derived by integrating gene function and protein interaction data. Among the 8 genes in ACADS web retrieved from both STRING and GeneMANIA, ACADS is effectively conjoined with 4 genes including HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1. The functional analysis is done via ontological briefing and candidate disease identification. We observed that the highly efficient-interlinked genes connected with ACADS are HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1. Interestingly, the ontological aspect of genes in the ACADS network reveals that ACADS, HAHDA and HADHB play equally vital roles in fatty acid metabolism. The gene ACAT1 together with ACADS indulges in ketone metabolism. Our computational gene web analysis also predicts potential candidate disease recognition, thus indicating the involvement of ACADS, HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1 not only with lipid metabolism but also with infant death syndrome, skeletal myopathy, acute hepatic encephalopathy, Reye-like syndrome, episodic ketosis, and metabolic acidosis. The current study presents a comprehensible layout of ACADS network, its functional strategies and candidate disease approach associated with ACADS network. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional metabolomics reveals novel active products in the DHA metabolome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masakazu eShinohara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Endogenous mechanisms for successful resolution of an acute inflammatory response and the local return to homeostasis are of interest because excessive inflammation underlies many human diseases. In this review, we provide an update and overview of functional metabolomics that identified a new bioactive metabolome of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA. Systematic studies revealed that DHA was converted to DHEA-derived novel bioactive products as well as aspirin-triggered (AT forms of protectins. The new oxygenated DHEA derived products blocked PMN chemotaxis, reduced P-selectin expression and platelet-leukocyte adhesion, and showed organ protection in ischemia/reperfusion injury. These products activated cannabinoid receptor (CB2 receptor and not CB1 receptors. The AT-PD1 reduced neutrophil (PMN recruitment in murine peritonitis. With human cells, AT-PD1 decreased transendothelial PMN migration as well as enhanced efferocytosis of apoptotic human PMN by macrophages. The recent findings reviewed here indicate that DHEA oxidative metabolism and aspirin-triggered conversion of DHA produce potent novel molecules with anti-inflammatory and organ-protective properties, opening the DHA metabolome functional roles.

  12. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antommattei Frances M

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Geobacter species are δ-Proteobacteria and are often the predominant species in a variety of sedimentary environments where Fe(III reduction is important. Their ability to remediate contaminated environments and produce electricity makes them attractive for further study. Cell motility, biofilm formation, and type IV pili all appear important for the growth of Geobacter in changing environments and for electricity production. Recent studies in other bacteria have demonstrated that signaling pathways homologous to the paradigm established for Escherichia coli chemotaxis can regulate type IV pili-dependent motility, the synthesis of flagella and type IV pili, the production of extracellular matrix material, and biofilm formation. The classification of these pathways by comparative genomics improves the ability to understand how Geobacter thrives in natural environments and better their use in microbial fuel cells. Results The genomes of G. sulfurreducens, G. metallireducens, and G. uraniireducens contain multiple (~70 homologs of chemotaxis genes arranged in several major clusters (six, seven, and seven, respectively. Unlike the single gene cluster of E. coli, the Geobacter clusters are not all located near the flagellar genes. The probable functions of some Geobacter clusters are assignable by homology to known pathways; others appear to be unique to the Geobacter sp. and contain genes of unknown function. We identified large numbers of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP homologs that have diverse sensing domain architectures and generate a potential for sensing a great variety of environmental signals. We discuss mechanisms for class-specific segregation of the MCPs in the cell membrane, which serve to maintain pathway specificity and diminish crosstalk. Finally, the regulation of gene expression in Geobacter differs from E. coli. The sequences of predicted promoter elements suggest that the alternative sigma factors

  13. Proteomic amino-termini profiling reveals targeting information for protein import into complex plastids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pitter F Huesgen

    Full Text Available In organisms with complex plastids acquired by secondary endosymbiosis from a photosynthetic eukaryote, the majority of plastid proteins are nuclear-encoded, translated on cytoplasmic ribosomes, and guided across four membranes by a bipartite targeting sequence. In-depth understanding of this vital import process has been impeded by a lack of information about the transit peptide part of this sequence, which mediates transport across the inner three membranes. We determined the mature N-termini of hundreds of proteins from the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, revealing extensive N-terminal modification by acetylation and proteolytic processing in both cytosol and plastid. We identified 63 mature N-termini of nucleus-encoded plastid proteins, deduced their complete transit peptide sequences, determined a consensus motif for their cleavage by the stromal processing peptidase, and found evidence for subsequent processing by a plastid methionine aminopeptidase. The cleavage motif differs from that of higher plants, but is shared with other eukaryotes with complex plastids.

  14. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.

  15. Enhanced finite difference scheme for the neutron diffusion equation using the importance function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vagheian, Mehran; Vosoughi, Naser; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • An enhanced finite difference scheme for the neutron diffusion equation is proposed. • A seven-step algorithm is considered based on the importance function. • Mesh points are distributed through entire reactor core with respect to the importance function. • The results all proved that the proposed algorithm is highly efficient. - Abstract: Mesh point positions in Finite Difference Method (FDM) of discretization for the neutron diffusion equation can remarkably affect the averaged neutron fluxes as well as the effective multiplication factor. In this study, by aid of improving the mesh point positions, an enhanced finite difference scheme for the neutron diffusion equation is proposed based on the neutron importance function. In order to determine the neutron importance function, the adjoint (backward) neutron diffusion calculations are performed in the same procedure as for the forward calculations. Considering the neutron importance function, the mesh points can be improved through the entire reactor core. Accordingly, in regions with greater neutron importance, density of mesh elements is higher than that in regions with less importance. The forward calculations are then performed for both of the uniform and improved non-uniform mesh point distributions and the results (the neutron fluxes along with the corresponding eigenvalues) for the two cases are compared with each other. The results are benchmarked against the reference values (with fine meshes) for Kang and Rod Bundle BWR benchmark problems. These benchmark cases revealed that the improved non-uniform mesh point distribution is highly efficient.

  16. The functional importance of disease-associated mutation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klein Teri E

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For many years, scientists believed that point mutations in genes are the genetic switches for somatic and inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria and cancer. Some of these mutations likely alter a protein's function in a manner that is deleterious, and they should occur in functionally important regions of the protein products of genes. Here we show that disease-associated mutations occur in regions of genes that are conserved, and can identify likely disease-causing mutations. Results To show this, we have determined conservation patterns for 6185 non-synonymous and heritable disease-associated mutations in 231 genes. We define a parameter, the conservation ratio, as the ratio of average negative entropy of analyzable positions with reported mutations to that of every analyzable position in the gene sequence. We found that 84.0% of the 231 genes have conservation ratios less than one. 139 genes had eleven or more analyzable mutations and 88.0% of those had conservation ratios less than one. Conclusions These results indicate that phylogenetic information is a powerful tool for the study of disease-associated mutations. Our alignments and analysis has been made available as part of the database at http://cancer.stanford.edu/mut-paper/. Within this dataset, each position is annotated with the analysis, so the most likely disease-causing mutations can be identified.

  17. Dynamic Biological Functioning Important for Simulating and Stabilizing Ocean Biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, P. J.; Matear, R. J.; Chase, Z.; Phipps, S. J.; Bindoff, N. L.

    2018-04-01

    The biogeochemistry of the ocean exerts a strong influence on the climate by modulating atmospheric greenhouse gases. In turn, ocean biogeochemistry depends on numerous physical and biological processes that change over space and time. Accurately simulating these processes is fundamental for accurately simulating the ocean's role within the climate. However, our simulation of these processes is often simplistic, despite a growing understanding of underlying biological dynamics. Here we explore how new parameterizations of biological processes affect simulated biogeochemical properties in a global ocean model. We combine 6 different physical realizations with 6 different biogeochemical parameterizations (36 unique ocean states). The biogeochemical parameterizations, all previously published, aim to more accurately represent the response of ocean biology to changing physical conditions. We make three major findings. First, oxygen, carbon, alkalinity, and phosphate fields are more sensitive to changes in the ocean's physical state. Only nitrate is more sensitive to changes in biological processes, and we suggest that assessment protocols for ocean biogeochemical models formally include the marine nitrogen cycle to assess their performance. Second, we show that dynamic variations in the production, remineralization, and stoichiometry of organic matter in response to changing environmental conditions benefit the simulation of ocean biogeochemistry. Third, dynamic biological functioning reduces the sensitivity of biogeochemical properties to physical change. Carbon and nitrogen inventories were 50% and 20% less sensitive to physical changes, respectively, in simulations that incorporated dynamic biological functioning. These results highlight the importance of a dynamic biology for ocean properties and climate.

  18. Heterogeneity in Neutrophil Microparticles Reveals Distinct Proteome and Functional Properties*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalli, Jesmond; Montero-Melendez, Trinidad; Norling, Lucy V; Yin, Xiaoke; Hinds, Charles; Haskard, Dorian; Mayr, Manuel; Perretti, Mauro

    2013-01-01

    Altered plasma neutrophil microparticle levels have recently been implicated in a number of vascular and inflammatory diseases, yet our understanding of their actions is very limited. Herein, we investigate the proteome of neutrophil microparticles in order to shed light on their biological actions. Stimulation of human neutrophils, either in suspension or adherent to an endothelial monolayer, led to the production of microparticles containing >400 distinct proteins with only 223 being shared by the two subsets. For instance, postadherent microparticles were enriched in alpha-2 macroglobulin and ceruloplasmin, whereas microparticles produced by neutrophils in suspension were abundant in heat shock 70 kDa protein 1. Annexin A1 and lactotransferrin were expressed in both microparticle subsets. We next determined relative abundance of these proteins in three types of human microparticle samples: healthy volunteer plasma, plasma of septic patients and skin blister exudates finding that these proteins were differentially expressed on neutrophil microparticles from these samples reflecting in part the expression profiles we found in vitro. Functional assessment of the neutrophil microparticles subsets demonstrated that in response to direct stimulation neutrophil microparticles produced reactive oxygen species and leukotriene B4 as well as locomoted toward a chemotactic gradient. Finally, we investigated the actions of the two neutrophil microparticles subsets described herein on target cell responses. Microarray analysis with human primary endothelial cells incubated with either microparticle subset revealed a discrete modulation of endothelial cell gene expression profile. These findings demonstrate that neutrophil microparticles are heterogenous and can deliver packaged information propagating the activation status of the parent cell, potentially exerting novel and fundamental roles both under homeostatic and disease conditions. PMID:23660474

  19. 78 FR 55772 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Beauty Revealed: Images of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

    ..., 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), Executive Order 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs...). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, SA-5, L/PD, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03), Washington, DC... Determinations: ``Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby...

  20. Genetic Interaction Maps in Escherichia coli Reveal Functional Crosstalk among Cell Envelope Biogenesis Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasblom, James; Gagarinova, Alla; Phanse, Sadhna; Graham, Chris; Yousif, Fouad; Ding, Huiming; Xiong, Xuejian; Nazarians-Armavil, Anaies; Alamgir, Md; Ali, Mehrab; Pogoutse, Oxana; Pe'er, Asaf; Arnold, Roland; Michaut, Magali; Parkinson, John; Golshani, Ashkan; Whitfield, Chris; Wodak, Shoshana J.; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel; Greenblatt, Jack F.; Emili, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    As the interface between a microbe and its environment, the bacterial cell envelope has broad biological and clinical significance. While numerous biosynthesis genes and pathways have been identified and studied in isolation, how these intersect functionally to ensure envelope integrity during adaptive responses to environmental challenge remains unclear. To this end, we performed high-density synthetic genetic screens to generate quantitative functional association maps encompassing virtually the entire cell envelope biosynthetic machinery of Escherichia coli under both auxotrophic (rich medium) and prototrophic (minimal medium) culture conditions. The differential patterns of genetic interactions detected among >235,000 digenic mutant combinations tested reveal unexpected condition-specific functional crosstalk and genetic backup mechanisms that ensure stress-resistant envelope assembly and maintenance. These networks also provide insights into the global systems connectivity and dynamic functional reorganization of a universal bacterial structure that is both broadly conserved among eubacteria (including pathogens) and an important target. PMID:22125496

  1. Genetic interaction maps in Escherichia coli reveal functional crosstalk among cell envelope biogenesis pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohan Babu

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available As the interface between a microbe and its environment, the bacterial cell envelope has broad biological and clinical significance. While numerous biosynthesis genes and pathways have been identified and studied in isolation, how these intersect functionally to ensure envelope integrity during adaptive responses to environmental challenge remains unclear. To this end, we performed high-density synthetic genetic screens to generate quantitative functional association maps encompassing virtually the entire cell envelope biosynthetic machinery of Escherichia coli under both auxotrophic (rich medium and prototrophic (minimal medium culture conditions. The differential patterns of genetic interactions detected among > 235,000 digenic mutant combinations tested reveal unexpected condition-specific functional crosstalk and genetic backup mechanisms that ensure stress-resistant envelope assembly and maintenance. These networks also provide insights into the global systems connectivity and dynamic functional reorganization of a universal bacterial structure that is both broadly conserved among eubacteria (including pathogens and an important target.

  2. The importance to reveal buried interfaces in the semiconductor heterostructure devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeda, Yoshikazu; Tabuchi, Masao

    2007-01-01

    Even though several in-situ monitoring techniques exist and are quite useful to understand the growth processes in MBE or MOVPE, we also need a technique to reveal the buried interfaces along which carriers are transported and recombine to emit light. The interface is modified during the capping (overgrowth) and also during the device fabrication processes after growth. We need to correlate the interface structures in the devices and the device performances. The only technique we have at present is the X-ray CTR scattering measurements. We discuss the limits of the in-situ monitoring and the necessity to reveal the buried interfaces non-destructively, either in-situ or ex-situ

  3. Revealing topological organization of human brain functional networks with resting-state functional near infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Haijing; Wang, Jinhui; Zhao, Tengda; Shu, Ni; He, Yong

    2012-01-01

    The human brain is a highly complex system that can be represented as a structurally interconnected and functionally synchronized network, which assures both the segregation and integration of information processing. Recent studies have demonstrated that a variety of neuroimaging and neurophysiological techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion MRI and electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography can be employed to explore the topological organization of human brain networks. However, little is known about whether functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a relatively new optical imaging technology, can be used to map functional connectome of the human brain and reveal meaningful and reproducible topological characteristics. We utilized resting-state fNIRS (R-fNIRS) to investigate the topological organization of human brain functional networks in 15 healthy adults. Brain networks were constructed by thresholding the temporal correlation matrices of 46 channels and analyzed using graph-theory approaches. We found that the functional brain network derived from R-fNIRS data had efficient small-world properties, significant hierarchical modular structure and highly connected hubs. These results were highly reproducible both across participants and over time and were consistent with previous findings based on other functional imaging techniques. Our results confirmed the feasibility and validity of using graph-theory approaches in conjunction with optical imaging techniques to explore the topological organization of human brain networks. These results may expand a methodological framework for utilizing fNIRS to study functional network changes that occur in association with development, aging and neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  4. Protecting knowledge : How legal requirements to reveal information affect the importance of secrecy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sofka, Wolfgang; de Faria, Pedro; Shehu, Edlira

    2018-01-01

    Most firms use secrecy to protect their knowledge from potential imitators. However, the theoretical foundations for secrecy have not been well explored. We extend knowledge protection literature and propose theoretical mechanisms explaining how information visibility influences the importance of

  5. Seafloor ecosystem functioning: the importance of organic matter priming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Nugteren, P.; Moodley, L.; Brummer, G.J.; Heip, C.H.R.; Herman, P.M.J.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Organic matter (OM) remineralization may be considered a key function of the benthic compartment of marine ecosystems and in this study we investigated if the input of labile organic carbon alters mineralization of indigenous sediment OM (OM priming). Using 13C-enriched diatoms as labile tracer

  6. Microbial functional diversity plays an important role in the degradation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Samrat; Tribedi, Prosun

    2018-03-01

    Towards bioremediation of recalcitrant materials like synthetic polymer, soil has been recognized as a traditional site for disposal and subsequent degradation as some microorganisms in soil can degrade the polymer in a non-toxic, cost-effective, and environment friendly way. Microbial functional diversity is a constituent of biodiversity that includes wide range of metabolic activities that can influence numerous aspects of ecosystem functioning like ecosystem stability, nutrient availability, ecosystem dynamics, etc. Thus, in the current study, we assumed that microbial functional diversity could play an important role in polymer degradation in soil. To verify this hypothesis, we isolated soil from five different sites of landfill and examined several microbiological parameters wherein we observed a significant variation in heterotrophic microbial count as well as microbial activities among the soil microcosms tested. Multivariate analysis (principle component analysis) based on the carbon sources utilization pattern revealed that soil microcosms showed different metabolic patterns suggesting the variable distribution of microorganisms among the soil microcosms tested. Since microbial functional diversity depends on both microbial richness and evenness, Shannon diversity index was determined to measure microbial richness and Gini coefficient was determined to measure microbial evenness. The tested soil microcosms exhibited variation in both microbial richness and evenness suggesting the considerable difference in microbial functional diversity among the tested microcosms. We then measured polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) degradation in soil microcosms after desired period of incubation of PHB in soil wherein we found that soil microcosms having higher functional diversity showed enhanced PHB degradation and soil microcosms having lower functional diversity showed reduced PHB degradation. We also noticed that all the tested soil microcosms showed similar pattern in both

  7. Is recreational hunting important for landscape multi-functionality?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Jens Friis; Jensen, Frank Søndergaard

    2017-01-01

    Recreational hunting may be important to the shaping of the agricultural landscape. Land owners who hunt or lease out hunting rights have an incentive to promote landscapes that contain wildlife biotopes, which may serve wider societal values, such as landscape aesthetics, biodiversity, and prese......Recreational hunting may be important to the shaping of the agricultural landscape. Land owners who hunt or lease out hunting rights have an incentive to promote landscapes that contain wildlife biotopes, which may serve wider societal values, such as landscape aesthetics, biodiversity......, and preservation of valued and/or threatened animal and plant species. Recreational hunting may thus contribute to preserve and enhance landscape multifunctionality. Yet, little is known about the importance of hunting interests in motivating such landscape management. In this article, we seek to shed light...

  8. The importance of team functioning to natural resource planning outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Marc J; Predmore, S Andrew

    2012-09-15

    In its recent history, the U.S. Forest Service is among many federal land management agencies struggling with questions concerning why its planning procedures are sometimes inefficient, perform poorly in the eyes of the public, and fail to deliver outputs that advance agency mission. By examining a representative sample of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes conducted by the agency between 2007 and 2009, we provide new insights into what drives outcomes in these planning processes. We examined team leaders' perceptions of the following outcomes: achievement of agency goals and NEPA mandates, process efficiency, public relations, and team outcomes. The most consistently important predictors of positive outcomes were team harmony and a clearly empowered team leader. Other factors, such as perceptions of the use of best science, a clear and unambiguous purpose and need, team turnover (personnel changes during the process), extra-agency engagement, and intra-agency relations, were also important, but played a less consistent role. The findings suggest the importance of empowering team leaders and team members through enhancing elements of discretion, responsibility, clear role definition, collaborative interdisciplinary deliberation, and perceived self-efficacy. The results also suggest the importance of genuine concern and respect for participating publics and effective inter-agency coordination. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, María; Lado, Carlos

    2012-08-01

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

  10. Perturbation theory and importance functions in integral transport formulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenspan, E.

    1976-01-01

    Perturbation theory expressions for the static reactivity derived from the flux, collision density, birth-rate density, and fission-neutron density formulations of integral transport theory, and from the integro-differential formulation, are intercompared. The physical meaning and relation of the adjoint functions corresponding to each of the five formulations are established. It is found that the first-order approximation of the perturbation expressions depends on the transport theory formulation and on the adjoint function used. The approximations of the integro-differential formulation corresponding to different first-order approximations of the integral transport theory formulations are identified. It is found that the accuracy of all first-order approximations of the integral transport formulations examined is superior to the accuracy of first-order integro-differential perturbation theory

  11. Functional Mitochondria Are Important for the Effect of Resveratrol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widlund, Anne Lykkegaard; Baral, Kaushal; Dalgaard, Louise Torp

    2017-01-01

    Resveratrol (Resv) is a polyphenol reported to modulate mitochondrial activity. The aim was to use HeLa and 143B cells to characterize the action of Resv on mitochondrial activity, cell size and proliferation using wild type (WT) and Rho 0 cells deficient in mitochondrial DNA. In both HeLa WT and......, but not in Rho 0 when treated with Resv. Overall, the findings presented indicate that functional mitochondria are a prerequisite for cell enlargement by Resv....

  12. Functional imaging reveals movement preparatory activity in the vegetative state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tristan A Bekinschtein

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Vegetative State (VS is characterized by the absence of awareness of self or the environment and preserved autonomic functions. The diagnosis relies critically on the lack of consistent signs of purposeful behavior in response to external stimulation. Yet, given that patients with disorders of consciousness often exhibit fragmented movement patterns, voluntary actions may go unnoticed. Here we designed a simple motor paradigm that could potentially detect residual conscious awareness in VS patients with mild to severe brain damage by examining the neural correlates of motor preparation in response to verbal commands. Twenty-four patients who met the diagnostic criteria for VS were recruited for this study. Eleven of these patients showing preserved auditory evoked potentials underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to test for basic speech processing. Five of these patients, who showed word related activity, were included in a second fMRI study aimed at detecting functional changes in premotor cortex elicited by specific verbal instructions to move either their left or their right hand. Despite the lack of overt muscle activity, two patients out of five activated the dorsal premotor cortex contralateral to the instructed hand, consistent with movement preparation. Given that movement preparation in response to a motor command is a sign of purposeful behavior, our results are consistent with residual conscious awareness in these patients. We believe that the identification of positive results with fMRI using this simple task, may complement the clinical assessment by helping attain a more precise diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness.

  13. Remote synchronization reveals network symmetries and functional modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicosia, Vincenzo; Valencia, Miguel; Chavez, Mario; Díaz-Guilera, Albert; Latora, Vito

    2013-04-26

    We study a Kuramoto model in which the oscillators are associated with the nodes of a complex network and the interactions include a phase frustration, thus preventing full synchronization. The system organizes into a regime of remote synchronization where pairs of nodes with the same network symmetry are fully synchronized, despite their distance on the graph. We provide analytical arguments to explain this result, and we show how the frustration parameter affects the distribution of phases. An application to brain networks suggests that anatomical symmetry plays a role in neural synchronization by determining correlated functional modules across distant locations.

  14. Important aspects of Eastern Mediterranean large-scale variability revealed from data of three fixed observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensi, Manuel; Velaoras, Dimitris; Cardin, Vanessa; Perivoliotis, Leonidas; Pethiakis, George

    2015-04-01

    Long-term variations of temperature and salinity observed in the Adriatic and Aegean Seas seem to be regulated by larger-scale circulation modes of the Eastern Mediterranean (EMed) Sea, such as the recently discovered feedback mechanisms, namely the BiOS (Bimodal Oscillating System) and the internal thermohaline pump theories. These theories are the results of interpretation of many years' observations, highlighting possible interactions between two key regions of the EMed. Although repeated oceanographic cruises carried out in the past or planned for the future are a very useful tool for understanding the interaction between the two basins (e.g. alternating dense water formation, salt ingressions), recent long time-series of high frequency (up to 1h) sampling have added valuable information to the interpretation of internal mechanisms for both areas (i.e. mesoscale eddies, evolution of fast internal processes, etc.). During the last 10 years, three deep observatories were deployed and maintained in the Adriatic, Ionian, and Aegean Seas: they are respectively, the E2-M3A, the Pylos, and the E1-M3A. All are part of the largest European network of Fixed Point Open Ocean Observatories (FixO3, http://www.fixo3.eu/). Herein, from the analysis of temperature and salinity, and potential density time series collected at the three sites from the surface down to the intermediate and deep layers, we will discuss the almost perfect anti-correlated behavior between the Adriatic and the Aegean Seas. Our data, collected almost continuously since 2006, reveal that these observatories well represent the thermohaline variability of their own areas. Interestingly, temperature and salinity in the intermediate layer suddenly increased in the South Adriatic from the end of 2011, exactly when they started decreasing in the Aegean Sea. Moreover, Pylos data used together with additional ones (e.g. Absolute dynamic topography, temperature and salinity data from other platforms) collected

  15. Serial functional imaging poststroke reveals visual cortex reorganization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodtmann, Amy; Puce, Aina; Darby, David; Donnan, Geoffrey

    2009-02-01

    Visual cortical reorganization following injury remains poorly understood. The authors performed serial functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on patients with visual cortex infarction to evaluate early and late striate, ventral, and dorsal extrastriate cortical activation. Patients were studied with fMRI within 10 days and at 6 months. The authors used a high-level visual activation task designed to activate the ventral extrastriate cortex. These data were compared to those of age-appropriate healthy control participants. The results from 24 healthy control individuals (mean age 65.7 +/- SE 3.6 years, range 32-89) were compared to those from 5 stroke patients (mean age 73.8 +/- SE 7 years, range 49-86). Patients had infarcts involving the striate and ventral extrastriate cortex. Patient activation patterns were markedly different to controls. Bilateral striate and ventral extrastriate activation was reduced at both sessions, but dorsal extrastriate activated voxel counts remained comparable to controls. Conversely, mean percent magnetic resonance signal change increased in dorsal sites. These data provide strong evidence of bilateral poststroke functional depression of striate and ventral extrastriate cortices. Possible utilization or surrogacy of the dorsal visual system was demonstrated following stroke. This activity could provide a target for novel visual rehabilitation therapies.

  16. Complex analyses of inverted repeats in mitochondrial genomes revealed their importance and variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cechová, Jana; Lýsek, Jirí; Bartas, Martin; Brázda, Václav

    2018-04-01

    The NCBI database contains mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes from numerous species. We investigated the presence and locations of inverted repeat sequences (IRs) in these mtDNA sequences, which are known to be important for regulating nuclear genomes. IRs were identified in mtDNA in all species. IR lengths and frequencies correlate with evolutionary age and the greatest variability was detected in subgroups of plants and fungi and the lowest variability in mammals. IR presence is non-random and evolutionary favoured. The frequency of IRs generally decreased with IR length, but not for IRs 24 or 30 bp long, which are 1.5 times more abundant. IRs are enriched in sequences from the replication origin, followed by D-loop, stem-loop and miscellaneous sequences, pointing to the importance of IRs in regulatory regions of mitochondrial DNA. Data were produced using Palindrome analyser, freely available on the web at http://bioinformatics.ibp.cz. vaclav@ibp.cz. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  17. PET imaging reveals brain functional changes in internet gaming disorder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Mei; Zhang, Ying; Du, Fenglei; Hou, Haifeng; Chao, Fangfang; Zhang, Hong [The Second Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China); Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Imaging of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou (China); Chen, Qiaozhen [The Second Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China); The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Hangzhou (China)

    2014-07-15

    Internet gaming disorder is an increasing problem worldwide, resulting in critical academic, social, and occupational impairment. However, the neurobiological mechanism of internet gaming disorder remains unknown. The aim of this study is to assess brain dopamine D{sub 2} (D{sub 2})/Serotonin 2A (5-HT{sub 2A}) receptor function and glucose metabolism in the same subjects by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging approach, and investigate whether the correlation exists between D{sub 2} receptor and glucose metabolism. Twelve drug-naive adult males who met criteria for internet gaming disorder and 14 matched controls were studied with PET and {sup 11}C-N-methylspiperone ({sup 11}C-NMSP) to assess the availability of D{sub 2}/5-HT{sub 2A} receptors and with {sup 18}F-fluoro-D-glucose ({sup 18}F-FDG) to assess regional brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain function. {sup 11}C-NMSP and {sup 18}F-FDG PET imaging data were acquired in the same individuals under both resting and internet gaming task states. In internet gaming disorder subjects, a significant decrease in glucose metabolism was observed in the prefrontal, temporal, and limbic systems. Dysregulation of D{sub 2} receptors was observed in the striatum, and was correlated to years of overuse. A low level of D{sub 2} receptors in the striatum was significantly associated with decreased glucose metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex. For the first time, we report the evidence that D{sub 2} receptor level is significantly associated with glucose metabolism in the same individuals with internet gaming disorder, which indicates that D{sub 2}/5-HT{sub 2A} receptor-mediated dysregulation of the orbitofrontal cortex could underlie a mechanism for loss of control and compulsive behavior in internet gaming disorder subjects. (orig.)

  18. PET imaging reveals brain functional changes in internet gaming disorder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tian, Mei; Zhang, Ying; Du, Fenglei; Hou, Haifeng; Chao, Fangfang; Zhang, Hong; Chen, Qiaozhen

    2014-01-01

    Internet gaming disorder is an increasing problem worldwide, resulting in critical academic, social, and occupational impairment. However, the neurobiological mechanism of internet gaming disorder remains unknown. The aim of this study is to assess brain dopamine D 2 (D 2 )/Serotonin 2A (5-HT 2A ) receptor function and glucose metabolism in the same subjects by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging approach, and investigate whether the correlation exists between D 2 receptor and glucose metabolism. Twelve drug-naive adult males who met criteria for internet gaming disorder and 14 matched controls were studied with PET and 11 C-N-methylspiperone ( 11 C-NMSP) to assess the availability of D 2 /5-HT 2A receptors and with 18 F-fluoro-D-glucose ( 18 F-FDG) to assess regional brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain function. 11 C-NMSP and 18 F-FDG PET imaging data were acquired in the same individuals under both resting and internet gaming task states. In internet gaming disorder subjects, a significant decrease in glucose metabolism was observed in the prefrontal, temporal, and limbic systems. Dysregulation of D 2 receptors was observed in the striatum, and was correlated to years of overuse. A low level of D 2 receptors in the striatum was significantly associated with decreased glucose metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex. For the first time, we report the evidence that D 2 receptor level is significantly associated with glucose metabolism in the same individuals with internet gaming disorder, which indicates that D 2 /5-HT 2A receptor-mediated dysregulation of the orbitofrontal cortex could underlie a mechanism for loss of control and compulsive behavior in internet gaming disorder subjects. (orig.)

  19. Coherence and Coupling Functions Reveal Microvascular Impairment in Treated Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Ticcinelli

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The complex interactions that give rise to heart rate variability (HRV involve coupled physiological oscillators operating over a wide range of different frequencies and length-scales. Based on the premise that interactions are key to the functioning of complex systems, the time-dependent deterministic coupling parameters underlying cardiac, respiratory and vascular regulation have been investigated at both the central and microvascular levels. Hypertension was considered as an example of a globally altered state of the complex dynamics of the cardiovascular system. Its effects were established through analysis of simultaneous recordings of the electrocardiogram (ECG, respiratory effort, and microvascular blood flow [by laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF]. The signals were analyzed by methods developed to capture time-dependent dynamics, including the wavelet transform, wavelet-based phase coherence, non-linear mode decomposition, and dynamical Bayesian inference, all of which can encompass the inherent frequency and coupling variability of living systems. Phases of oscillatory modes corresponding to the cardiac (around 1.0 Hz, respiratory (around 0.25 Hz, and vascular myogenic activities (around 0.1 Hz were extracted and combined into two coupled networks describing the central and peripheral systems, respectively. The corresponding spectral powers and coupling functions were computed. The same measurements and analyses were performed for three groups of subjects: healthy young (Y group, 24.4 ± 3.4 y, healthy aged (A group, 71.1 ± 6.6 y, and aged treated hypertensive patients (ATH group, 70.3 ± 6.7 y. It was established that the degree of coherence between low-frequency oscillations near 0.1 Hz in blood flow and in HRV time series differs markedly between the groups, declining with age and nearly disappearing in treated hypertension. Comparing the two healthy groups it was found that the couplings to the cardiac rhythm from both respiration and

  20. Comparative Phosphoproteomics Reveals an Important Role of MKK2 in Banana (Musa spp.) Cold Signal Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jie; Zhang, Sheng; He, Wei-Di; Shao, Xiu-Hong; Li, Chun-Yu; Wei, Yue-Rong; Deng, Gui-Ming; Kuang, Rui-Bin; Hu, Chun-Hua; Yi, Gan-Jun; Yang, Qiao-Song

    2017-01-01

    Low temperature is one of the key environmental stresses, which greatly affects global banana production. However, little is known about the global phosphoproteomes in Musa spp. and their regulatory roles in response to cold stress. In this study, we conducted a comparative phosphoproteomic profiling of cold-sensitive Cavendish Banana and relatively cold tolerant Dajiao under cold stress. Phosphopeptide abundances of five phosphoproteins involved in MKK2 interaction network, including MKK2, HY5, CaSR, STN7 and kinesin-like protein, show a remarkable difference between Cavendish Banana and Dajiao in response to cold stress. Western blotting of MKK2 protein and its T31 phosphorylated peptide verified the phosphoproteomic results of increased T31 phosphopeptide abundance with decreased MKK2 abundance in Daojiao for a time course of cold stress. Meanwhile increased expression of MKK2 with no detectable T31 phosphorylation was found in Cavendish Banana. These results suggest that the MKK2 pathway in Dajiao, along with other cold-specific phosphoproteins, appears to be associated with the molecular mechanisms of high tolerance to cold stress in Dajiao. The results also provide new evidence that the signaling pathway of cellular MKK2 phosphorylation plays an important role in abiotic stress tolerance that likely serves as a universal plant cold tolerance mechanism. PMID:28106078

  1. Sequencing of bovine herpesvirus 4 v.test strain reveals important genome features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillet Laurent

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4 is a useful model for the human pathogenic gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus. Although genome manipulations of this virus have been greatly facilitated by the cloning of the BoHV-4 V.test strain as a Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC, the lack of a complete genome sequence for this strain limits its experimental use. Methods In this study, we have determined the complete sequence of BoHV-4 V.test strain by a pyrosequencing approach. Results The long unique coding region (LUR consists of 108,241 bp encoding at least 79 open reading frames and is flanked by several polyrepetitive DNA units (prDNA. As previously suggested, we showed that the prDNA unit located at the left prDNA-LUR junction (prDNA-G differs from the other prDNA units (prDNA-inner. Namely, the prDNA-G unit lacks the conserved pac-2 cleavage and packaging signal in its right terminal region. Based on the mechanisms of cleavage and packaging of herpesvirus genomes, this feature implies that only genomes bearing left and right end prDNA units are encapsulated into virions. Conclusions In this study, we have determined the complete genome sequence of the BAC-cloned BoHV-4 V.test strain and identified genome organization features that could be important in other herpesviruses.

  2. Comparison of Cytotoxic Activity in Leukemic Lineages Reveals Important Features of β-Hairpin Antimicrobial Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, Marcus V; Torquato, Heron F Vieira; Barros, Carlos Castilho; Ide, Jaime S; Miranda, Antonio; Paredes-Gamero, Edgar J

    2017-07-01

    Several reports described different modes of cell death triggered by antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) due to direct effects on membrane disruption, and more recently by apoptosis and necrosis-like patterns. Cytotoxic curves of four β-hairpin AMPs (gomesin, protegrin, tachyplesin, and polyphemusin) were obtained from several human leukemic lineages and normal monocytes and Two cell lines were then selected based on their cytotoxic sensitivity. One was sensitive to AMPs (K562) and the other resistant (KG-1) and their effect compared between these lineages. Thus, these lineages were chosen to further investigate biological features related with their cytotoxicities to AMPs. Stimulation with AMPs produced cell death, with activation of caspase-3, in K562 lineage. Increase on the fluidity of plasmatic membrane by reducing cholesterol potentiated cytotoxicity of AMPs in both lineages. Quantification of internal and external gomesin binding to the cellular membrane of both K562 and KG-1 cells showed that more peptide is accumulated inside of K562 cells. Additionally, evaluation of multi-drug resistant pumps activity showed that KG-1 has more activity than K562 lineage. A comparison of intrinsic gene patterns showed great differences between K562 and KG-1, but stimulation with gomesin promoted few changes in gene expression patterns. Differences in internalization process through the plasma membrane, multidrug resistance pumps activity, and gene expression pattern are important features to AMPs regulated cell death. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1764-1773, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. firestar--advances in the prediction of functionally important residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Gonzalo; Maietta, Paolo; Rodriguez, Jose Manuel; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L

    2011-07-01

    firestar is a server for predicting catalytic and ligand-binding residues in protein sequences. Here, we present the important developments since the first release of firestar. Previous versions of the server required human interpretation of the results; the server is now fully automatized. firestar has been implemented as a web service and can now be run in high-throughput mode. Prediction coverage has been greatly improved with the extension of the FireDB database and the addition of alignments generated by HHsearch. Ligands in FireDB are now classified for biological relevance. Many of the changes have been motivated by the critical assessment of techniques for protein structure prediction (CASP) ligand-binding prediction experiment, which provided us with a framework to test the performance of firestar. URL: http://firedb.bioinfo.cnio.es/Php/FireStar.php.

  4. Stable Isotope Analysis Reveals That Agricultural Habitat Provides an Important Dietary Component for Nonbreeding Dunlin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Joan Evans Ogden

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Although shorebirds spending the winter in temperate areas frequently use estuarine and supratidal (upland feeding habitats, the relative contribution of each habitat to individual diets has not been directly quantified. We quantified the proportional use that Calidris alpina pacifica (Dunlin made of estuarine vs. terrestrial farmland resources on the Fraser River Delta, British Columbia, using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N of blood from 268 Dunlin over four winters, 1997 through 2000. We tested for individual, age, sex, morphological, seasonal, and weather-related differences in dietary sources. Based on single- (δ13C and dual-isotope mixing models, the agricultural habitat contributed approximately 38% of Dunlin diet averaged over four winters, with the balance from intertidal flats. However, there was a wide variation among individuals in the extent of agricultural feeding, ranging from about 1% to 95% of diet. Younger birds had a significantly higher terrestrial contribution to diet (43% than did adults (35%. We estimated that 6% of adults and 13% of juveniles were obtaining at least 75% of their diet from terrestrial sources. The isotope data provided no evidence for sex or overall body size effects on the proportion of diet that is terrestrial in origin. The use of agricultural habitat by Dunlin peaked in early January. Adult Dunlin obtained a greater proportion of their diet terrestrially during periods of lower temperatures and high precipitation, whereas no such relationship existed for juveniles. Seasonal variation in the use of agricultural habitat suggests that it is used more during energetically stressful periods. The terrestrial farmland zone appears to be consistently important as a habitat for juveniles, but for adults it may provide an alternative feeding site used as a buffer against starvation during periods of extreme weather. Loss or reduction of agricultural habitat adjacent to estuaries may negatively impact

  5. Understanding the Importance of the Teres Minor for Shoulder Function: Functional Anatomy and Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Matthew D; Edwards, Thomas Bradley; Walch, Gilles

    2018-03-01

    Although the teres minor is often overlooked in a normal shoulder, it becomes a key component in maintaining shoulder function when other rotator cuff tendons fail. The teres minor maintains a balanced glenohumeral joint and changes from an insignificant to the most significant external rotator in the presence of major rotator cuff pathology. The presence or absence of the teres minor provides prognostic information on the outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty and tendon transfers. Clinical tests include the Patte test, the Neer dropping sign, the external rotation lag sign, and the Hertel drop sign. Advanced imaging of the teres minor can be used for classification using the Walch system. Understanding the function and pathology surrounding the teres minor is paramount in comprehensive management of the patient with shoulder pathology. Appropriate clinical examination and imaging of the teres minor are important for preoperative stratification and postoperative expectations.

  6. Multivoxel Patterns Reveal Functionally Differentiated Networks Underlying Auditory Feedback Processing of Speech

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zheng, Zane Z.; Vicente-Grabovetsky, Alejandro; MacDonald, Ewen N.

    2013-01-01

    The everyday act of speaking involves the complex processes of speech motor control. An important component of control is monitoring, detection, and processing of errors when auditory feedback does not correspond to the intended motor gesture. Here we show, using fMRI and converging operations...... within a multivoxel pattern analysis framework, that this sensorimotor process is supported by functionally differentiated brain networks. During scanning, a real-time speech-tracking system was used to deliver two acoustically different types of distorted auditory feedback or unaltered feedback while...... human participants were vocalizing monosyllabic words, and to present the same auditory stimuli while participants were passively listening. Whole-brain analysis of neural-pattern similarity revealed three functional networks that were differentially sensitive to distorted auditory feedback during...

  7. Dynamic functional connectivity analysis reveals transient states of dysconnectivity in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Damaraju

    2014-01-01

    . Group differences are weak or absent during other connectivity states. Dynamic analysis also revealed hypoconnectivity between the putamen and sensory networks during the same states of thalamic hyperconnectivity; notably, this finding cannot be observed in the static connectivity analysis. Finally, in post-hoc analyses we observed that the relationships between sub-cortical low frequency power and connectivity with sensory networks is altered in patients, suggesting different functional interactions between sub-cortical nuclei and sensorimotor cortex during specific connectivity states. While important differences between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls have been identified, one should interpret the results with caution given the history of medication in patients. Taken together, our results support and expand current knowledge regarding dysconnectivity in schizophrenia, and strongly advocate the use of dynamic analyses to better account for and understand functional connectivity differences.

  8. Individual-based analyses reveal limited functional overlap in a coral reef fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2014-05-01

    Detailed knowledge of a species' functional niche is crucial for the study of ecological communities and processes. The extent of niche overlap, functional redundancy and functional complementarity is of particular importance if we are to understand ecosystem processes and their vulnerability to disturbances. Coral reefs are among the most threatened marine systems, and anthropogenic activity is changing the functional composition of reefs. The loss of herbivorous fishes is particularly concerning as the removal of algae is crucial for the growth and survival of corals. Yet, the foraging patterns of the various herbivorous fish species are poorly understood. Using a multidimensional framework, we present novel individual-based analyses of species' realized functional niches, which we apply to a herbivorous coral reef fish community. In calculating niche volumes for 21 species, based on their microhabitat utilization patterns during foraging, and computing functional overlaps, we provide a measurement of functional redundancy or complementarity. Complementarity is the inverse of redundancy and is defined as less than 50% overlap in niche volumes. The analyses reveal extensive complementarity with an average functional overlap of just 15.2%. Furthermore, the analyses divide herbivorous reef fishes into two broad groups. The first group (predominantly surgeonfishes and parrotfishes) comprises species feeding on exposed surfaces and predominantly open reef matrix or sandy substrata, resulting in small niche volumes and extensive complementarity. In contrast, the second group consists of species (predominantly rabbitfishes) that feed over a wider range of microhabitats, penetrating the reef matrix to exploit concealed surfaces of various substratum types. These species show high variation among individuals, leading to large niche volumes, more overlap and less complementarity. These results may have crucial consequences for our understanding of herbivorous processes on

  9. Quantitative protein localization signatures reveal an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loo, Lit-Hsin; Laksameethanasan, Danai; Tung, Yi-Ling

    2014-03-01

    Protein subcellular localization is a major determinant of protein function. However, this important protein feature is often described in terms of discrete and qualitative categories of subcellular compartments, and therefore it has limited applications in quantitative protein function analyses. Here, we present Protein Localization Analysis and Search Tools (PLAST), an automated analysis framework for constructing and comparing quantitative signatures of protein subcellular localization patterns based on microscopy images. PLAST produces human-interpretable protein localization maps that quantitatively describe the similarities in the localization patterns of proteins and major subcellular compartments, without requiring manual assignment or supervised learning of these compartments. Using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we show that PLAST is more accurate than existing, qualitative protein localization annotations in identifying known co-localized proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PLAST can reveal protein localization-function relationships that are not obvious from these annotations. First, we identified proteins that have similar localization patterns and participate in closely-related biological processes, but do not necessarily form stable complexes with each other or localize at the same organelles. Second, we found an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins during evolution. Surprisingly, as proteins with common ancestors evolve, they tend to develop more diverged subcellular localization patterns, but still occupy similar numbers of compartments. This suggests that divergence of protein localization might be more frequently due to the development of more specific localization patterns over ancestral compartments than the occupation of new compartments. PLAST enables systematic and quantitative analyses of protein localization-function relationships, and will be useful to elucidate protein

  10. Validation of Skeletal Muscle cis-Regulatory Module Predictions Reveals Nucleotide Composition Bias in Functional Enhancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Andrew T.; Chou, Alice Yi; Arenillas, David J.; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2011-01-01

    We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions. PMID:22144875

  11. Validation of skeletal muscle cis-regulatory module predictions reveals nucleotide composition bias in functional enhancers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Kwon

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions.

  12. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-06

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  13. Inter-species activity correlations reveal functional correspondences between monkey and human brain areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A.; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-01-01

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. In cases where functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assess similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by means of temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we reveal regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This novel framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models. PMID:22306809

  14. Structure of Prokaryotic Polyamine Deacetylase Reveals Evolutionary Functional Relationships with Eukaryotic Histone Deacetylases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P Lombardi; H Angell; D Whittington; E Flynn; K Rajashankar; D Christianson

    2011-12-31

    Polyamines are a ubiquitous class of polycationic small molecules that can influence gene expression by binding to nucleic acids. Reversible polyamine acetylation regulates nucleic acid binding and is required for normal cell cycle progression and proliferation. Here, we report the structures of Mycoplana ramosa acetylpolyamine amidohydrolase (APAH) complexed with a transition state analogue and a hydroxamate inhibitor and an inactive mutant complexed with two acetylpolyamine substrates. The structure of APAH is the first of a histone deacetylase-like oligomer and reveals that an 18-residue insert in the L2 loop promotes dimerization and the formation of an 18 {angstrom} long 'L'-shaped active site tunnel at the dimer interface, accessible only to narrow and flexible substrates. The importance of dimerization for polyamine deacetylase function leads to the suggestion that a comparable dimeric or double-domain histone deacetylase could catalyze polyamine deacetylation reactions in eukaryotes.

  15. Expression atlas and comparative coexpression network analyses reveal important genes involved in the formation of lignified cell wall in Brachypodium distachyon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibout, Richard; Proost, Sebastian; Hansen, Bjoern Oest; Vaid, Neha; Giorgi, Federico M; Ho-Yue-Kuang, Severine; Legée, Frédéric; Cézart, Laurent; Bouchabké-Coussa, Oumaya; Soulhat, Camille; Provart, Nicholas; Pasha, Asher; Le Bris, Philippe; Roujol, David; Hofte, Herman; Jamet, Elisabeth; Lapierre, Catherine; Persson, Staffan; Mutwil, Marek

    2017-08-01

    While Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is an emerging model for grasses, no expression atlas or gene coexpression network is available. Such tools are of high importance to provide insights into the function of Brachypodium genes. We present a detailed Brachypodium expression atlas, capturing gene expression in its major organs at different developmental stages. The data were integrated into a large-scale coexpression database ( www.gene2function.de), enabling identification of duplicated pathways and conserved processes across 10 plant species, thus allowing genome-wide inference of gene function. We highlight the importance of the atlas and the platform through the identification of duplicated cell wall modules, and show that a lignin biosynthesis module is conserved across angiosperms. We identified and functionally characterised a putative ferulate 5-hydroxylase gene through overexpression of it in Brachypodium, which resulted in an increase in lignin syringyl units and reduced lignin content of mature stems, and led to improved saccharification of the stem biomass. Our Brachypodium expression atlas thus provides a powerful resource to reveal functionally related genes, which may advance our understanding of important biological processes in grasses. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Calculation of Monte Carlo importance functions for use in nuclear-well logging calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soran, P.D.; McKeon, D.C.; Booth, T.E.

    1989-07-01

    Importance sampling is essential to the timely solution of Monte Carlo nuclear-logging computer simulations. Achieving minimum variance (maximum precision) of a response in minimum computation time is one criteria for the choice of an importance function. Various methods for calculating importance functions will be presented, new methods investigated, and comparisons with porosity and density tools will be shown. 5 refs., 1 tab

  17. The L1TD1 Protein Interactome Reveals the Importance of Post-transcriptional Regulation in Human Pluripotency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maheswara Reddy Emani

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The RNA-binding protein L1TD1 is one of the most specific and abundant proteins in pluripotent stem cells and is essential for the maintenance of pluripotency in human cells. Here, we identify the protein interaction network of L1TD1 in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs and provide insights into the interactome network constructed in human pluripotent cells. Our data reveal that L1TD1 has an important role in RNA splicing, translation, protein traffic, and degradation. L1TD1 interacts with multiple stem-cell-specific proteins, many of which are still uncharacterized in the context of development. Further, we show that L1TD1 is a part of the pluripotency interactome network of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG, bridging nuclear and cytoplasmic regulation and highlighting the importance of RNA biology in pluripotency.

  18. [Importance of preservation of biophysical organization of isolated mitochondria for revealing physiological regulation of their functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharchenko, M V; Khunderiakova, N V; Kondrashova, M N

    2011-01-01

    A method has been elaborated that preserves the mitochondrial-reticular network in lymphocytes in composition to the physiological one. Physiologicalby the immobilization of a blood smear on glass and its subsequent incubation in a medium closeresponses of respiration to excitation in the ition of early responses of ions. The recogn organism are well pronounced on these preparat mitochondria to pathogenic agents in the organism is a timely problem of basic and medicinal e- investigations since they play a leading role in the development of pathological states.

  19. Hydrogen Exchange Differences between Chemoreceptor Signaling Complexes Localize to Functionally Important Subdomains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The goal of understanding mechanisms of transmembrane signaling, one of many key life processes mediated by membrane proteins, has motivated numerous studies of bacterial chemotaxis receptors. Ligand binding to the receptor causes a piston motion of an α helix in the periplasmic and transmembrane domains, but it is unclear how the signal is then propagated through the cytoplasmic domain to control the activity of the associated kinase CheA. Recent proposals suggest that signaling in the cytoplasmic domain involves opposing changes in dynamics in different subdomains. However, it has been difficult to measure dynamics within the functional system, consisting of extended arrays of receptor complexes with two other proteins, CheA and CheW. We have combined hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry with vesicle template assembly of functional complexes of the receptor cytoplasmic domain to reveal that there are significant signaling-associated changes in exchange, and these changes localize to key regions of the receptor involved in the excitation and adaptation responses. The methylation subdomain exhibits complex changes that include slower hydrogen exchange in complexes in a kinase-activating state, which may be partially consistent with proposals that this subdomain is stabilized in this state. The signaling subdomain exhibits significant protection from hydrogen exchange in complexes in a kinase-activating state, suggesting a tighter and/or larger interaction interface with CheA and CheW in this state. These first measurements of the stability of protein subdomains within functional signaling complexes demonstrate the promise of this approach for measuring functionally important protein dynamics within the various physiologically relevant states of multiprotein complexes. PMID:25420045

  20. Mitochondrial DNA reveals regional and interregional importance of the central Mediterranean African shelf for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The wide north African continental shelf in the central Mediterranean is known to be one of the few important areas in the basin for loggerhead turtles in the neritic stage. In order to assess the origin of these turtles, sequences of the mtDNA control region were obtained from 70 turtles caught by bottom trawlers in the area, and compared with known sequences from turtles from Mediterranean and Atlantic nesting sites. Five haplotypes were identified (Haplotype diversity = 0.262; nucleotide diversity = 5.4×10-3. Specific haplotypes indicate contributions from distant rookeries such as Turkey and the Atlantic, which shows that Atlantic turtles entering the Mediterranean while in the oceanic phase use at least one Mediterranean continental shelf as a neritic foraging ground. A new haplotype and another one previously found only in foraging areas, highlight the genetic information gaps for nesting sites, which undermine powerful mixed stock analyses. Despite these limitations, the results reveal the regional importance of the study area as a neritic foraging ground for turtles that are probably from most of the Mediterranean nesting aggregates. Therefore, reducing turtle mortality resulting from the high fishing effort in the area should be regarded as key for Mediterranean turtle conservation and is also possibly important for Atlantic populations.

  1. Arabidopsis decuple mutant reveals the importance of SnRK2 kinases in osmotic stress responses in vivo

    KAUST Repository

    Fujii, Hiroaki

    2011-01-10

    Osmotic stress associated with drought or salinity is a major factor that limits plant productivity. Protein kinases in the SNF1-related protein kinase 2 (SnRK2) family are activated by osmotic stress, suggesting that the kinases are involved in osmotic stress signaling. However, due to functional redundancy, their contribution to osmotic stress responses remained unclear. In this report, we constructed an Arabidopsis line carrying mutations in all 10 members of the SnRK2 family. The decuple mutant snrk2.1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 grew poorly under hyperosmotic stress conditions but was similar to the wild type in culture media in the absence of osmotic stress. The mutant was also defective in gene regulation and the accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA), proline, and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate under osmotic stress. In addition, analysis of mutants defective in the ABA-activated SnRK2s (snrk2.2/3/6) and mutants defective in the rest of the SnRK2s (snrk2.1/4/5/7/8/9/10) revealed that SnRK2s are a merging point of ABA-dependent and -independent pathways for osmotic stress responses. These results demonstrate critical functions of the SnRK2s in mediating osmotic stress signaling and tolerance.

  2. The Functionality of Facial Appearance and Its Importance to a Korean Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young Jun Kim

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundMany people have an interest in the correction of facial scars or deformities caused by trauma. The increasing ability to correct such flaws has been one of the reasons for the increase in the popularity of facial plastic surgery. In addition to its roles in communication, breathing, eating, olfaction and vision, the appearance of the face also plays an important role in human interactions, including during social activities. However, studies on the importance of the functional role of facial appearance. As a function of the face are scare. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the importance of the functions of the face in Korea.MethodsWe conducted an online panel survey of 300 participants (age range, 20-70 years. Each respondent was administered the demographic data form, Facial Function Assessment Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and standard gamble questionnaires.ResultsIn the evaluation on the importance of facial functions, a normal appearance was considered as important as communication, breathing, speech, and vision. Of the 300 participants, 85% stated that a normal appearance is important in social activities.ConclusionsThe results of this survey involving a cross-section of the Korean population indicated that a normal appearance was considered one of the principal facial functions. A normal appearance was considered more important than the functions of olfaction and expression. Moreover, a normal appearance was determined to be an important facial function for leading a normal life in Korea.

  3. Neutron importance and the generalized Green function for the conventionally critical reactor with normalized neutron distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khromov, V.V.

    1978-01-01

    The notion of neutron importance when applied to nuclear reactor statics problems described by time-independent homogeneous equations of neutron transport with provision for normalization of neutron distribution is considered. An equation has been obtained for the function of neutron importance in a conditionally critical reactor with respect to an arbitrary nons linear functional determined for the normalized neutron distribution. Relation between this function and the generalized Green function of the selfconjugated operator of the reactor equation is determined and the formula of small perturbations for the functionals of a conditionally critical reactor is deduced

  4. Forward Genetics Approach Reveals Host Genotype-Dependent Importance of Accessory Chromosomes in the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Habig

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici possesses a large complement of accessory chromosomes showing presence/absence polymorphism among isolates. These chromosomes encode hundreds of genes; however, their functional role and why the chromosomes have been maintained over long evolutionary times are so far not known. In this study, we addressed the functional relevance of eight accessory chromosomes in reference isolate IPO323. We induced chromosome losses by inhibiting the β-tubulin assembly during mitosis using carbendazim and generated several independent isogenic strains, each lacking one of the accessory chromosomes. We confirmed chromosome losses by electrophoretic karyotyping and whole-genome sequencing. To assess the importance of the individual chromosomes during host infection, we performed in planta assays comparing disease development results in wild-type and chromosome mutant strains. Loss of the accessory chromosomes 14, 16, 18, 19, and 21 resulted in increased virulence on wheat cultivar Runal but not on cultivars Obelisk, Titlis, and Riband. Moreover, some accessory chromosomes affected the switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy as strains lacking accessory chromosomes 14, 18, 19, and 21 showed a significantly earlier onset of necrosis than the wild type on the Runal cultivar. In general, we observed that the timing of the lifestyle switch affects the fitness of Z. tritici. Taking the results together, this study was the first to use a forward-genetics approach to demonstrate a cultivar-dependent functional relevance of the accessory chromosomes of Z. tritici during host infection.

  5. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. © FEMS 2015.

  6. Isolation of Chromatin from Dysfunctional Telomeres Reveals an Important Role for Ring1b in NHEJ-Mediated Chromosome Fusions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Bartocci

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available When telomeres become critically short, DNA damage response factors are recruited at chromosome ends, initiating a cellular response to DNA damage. We performed proteomic isolation of chromatin fragments (PICh in order to define changes in chromatin composition that occur upon onset of acute telomere dysfunction triggered by depletion of the telomere-associated factor TRF2. This unbiased purification of telomere-associated proteins in functional or dysfunctional conditions revealed the dynamic changes in chromatin composition that take place at telomeres upon DNA damage induction. On the basis of our results, we describe a critical role for the polycomb group protein Ring1b in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ-mediated end-to-end chromosome fusions. We show that cells with reduced levels of Ring1b have a reduced ability to repair uncapped telomeric chromatin. Our data represent an unbiased isolation of chromatin undergoing DNA damage and are a valuable resource to map the changes in chromatin composition in response to DNA damage activation.

  7. Mutation of Growth Arrest Specific 8 Reveals a Role in Motile Cilia Function and Human Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Wesley R; Malarkey, Erik B; Tritschler, Douglas; Bower, Raqual; Pasek, Raymond C; Porath, Jonathan D; Birket, Susan E; Saunier, Sophie; Antignac, Corinne; Knowles, Michael R; Leigh, Margaret W; Zariwala, Maimoona A; Challa, Anil K; Kesterson, Robert A; Rowe, Steven M; Drummond, Iain A; Parant, John M; Hildebrandt, Friedhelm; Porter, Mary E; Yoder, Bradley K; Berbari, Nicolas F

    2016-07-01

    Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400). While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8). GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC) protein 4 (DRC4) where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR) to generate one of these human missense variants in

  8. Functional malignant cell heterogeneity in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors revealed by targeting of PDGF-DD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortez, Eliane; Gladh, Hanna; Braun, Sebastian; Bocci, Matteo; Cordero, Eugenia; Björkström, Niklas K; Miyazaki, Hideki; Michael, Iacovos P; Eriksson, Ulf; Folestad, Erika; Pietras, Kristian

    2016-02-16

    Intratumoral heterogeneity is an inherent feature of most human cancers and has profound implications for cancer therapy. As a result, there is an emergent need to explore previously unmapped mechanisms regulating distinct subpopulations of tumor cells and to understand their contribution to tumor progression and treatment response. Aberrant platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) signaling in cancer has motivated the development of several antagonists currently in clinical use, including imatinib, sunitinib, and sorafenib. The discovery of a novel ligand for PDGFRβ, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-DD, opened the possibility of a previously unidentified signaling pathway involved in tumor development. However, the precise function of PDGF-DD in tumor growth and invasion remains elusive. Here, making use of a newly generated Pdgfd knockout mouse, we reveal a functionally important malignant cell heterogeneity modulated by PDGF-DD signaling in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). Our analyses demonstrate that tumor growth was delayed in the absence of signaling by PDGF-DD. Surprisingly, ablation of PDGF-DD did not affect the vasculature or stroma of PanNET; instead, we found that PDGF-DD stimulated bulk tumor cell proliferation by induction of paracrine mitogenic signaling between heterogeneous malignant cell clones, some of which expressed PDGFRβ. The presence of a subclonal population of tumor cells characterized by PDGFRβ expression was further validated in a cohort of human PanNET. In conclusion, we demonstrate a previously unrecognized heterogeneity in PanNET characterized by signaling through the PDGF-DD/PDGFRβ axis.

  9. Proteomic analysis of chromoplasts from six crop species reveals insights into chromoplast function and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yong-Qiang; Yang, Yong; Fei, Zhangjun; Yuan, Hui; Fish, Tara; Thannhauser, Theodore W; Mazourek, Michael; Kochian, Leon V; Wang, Xiaowu; Li, Li

    2013-02-01

    Chromoplasts are unique plastids that accumulate massive amounts of carotenoids. To gain a general and comparative characterization of chromoplast proteins, this study performed proteomic analysis of chromoplasts from six carotenoid-rich crops: watermelon, tomato, carrot, orange cauliflower, red papaya, and red bell pepper. Stromal and membrane proteins of chromoplasts were separated by 1D gel electrophoresis and analysed using nLC-MS/MS. A total of 953-2262 proteins from chromoplasts of different crop species were identified. Approximately 60% of the identified proteins were predicted to be plastid localized. Functional classification using MapMan bins revealed large numbers of proteins involved in protein metabolism, transport, amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, and redox in chromoplasts from all six species. Seventeen core carotenoid metabolic enzymes were identified. Phytoene synthase, phytoene desaturase, ζ-carotene desaturase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, and carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 were found in almost all crops, suggesting relative abundance of them among the carotenoid pathway enzymes. Chromoplasts from different crops contained abundant amounts of ATP synthase and adenine nucleotide translocator, which indicates an important role of ATP production and transport in chromoplast development. Distinctive abundant proteins were observed in chromoplast from different crops, including capsanthin/capsorubin synthase and fibrillins in pepper, superoxide dismutase in watermelon, carrot, and cauliflower, and glutathione-S-transferease in papaya. The comparative analysis of chromoplast proteins among six crop species offers new insights into the general metabolism and function of chromoplasts as well as the uniqueness of chromoplasts in specific crop species. This work provides reference datasets for future experimental study of chromoplast biogenesis, development, and regulation in plants.

  10. Mutation of Growth Arrest Specific 8 Reveals a Role in Motile Cilia Function and Human Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley R Lewis

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400. While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8. GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC protein 4 (DRC4 where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR to generate one of these human missense

  11. Functional interactome of Aquaporin 1 sub-family reveals new physiological functions in Arabidopsis Thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Ragab Abdel Gawwad

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Aquaporins are channel proteins found in plasma membranes and intercellular membranes of different cellular compartments, facilitate the water flux, solutes and gases across the cellular plasma membranes. The present study highlights the sub-family plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP predicting the 3-D structure and analyzing the functional interactome of it homologs. PIP1 homologs integrate with many proteins with different plant physiological roles in Arabidopsis thaliana including; PIP1A and PIP1B: facilitate the transport of water, diffusion of amino acids and/or peptides from the vacuolar compartment to the cytoplasm, play a role in the control of cell turgor and cell expansion and involved in root water uptake respectively. In addition we found that PIP1B plays a defensive role against Pseudomonas syringae infection through the interaction with the plasma membrane Rps2 protein. Another substantial function of PIP1C via the interaction with PIP2E is the response to nematode infection. Generally, PIP1 sub-family interactome controlling many physiological processes in plant cell like; osmoregulation in plants under high osmotic stress such as under a high salt, response to nematode, facilitate the transport of water across cell membrane and regulation of floral initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

  12. A hierarchy of functionally important relaxations within myoglobin based on solvent effects, mutations and kinetic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantsker, David; Samuni, Uri; Friedman, Joel M; Agmon, Noam

    2005-06-01

    Geminate CO rebinding in myoglobin is studied for two viscous solvents, trehalose and sol-gel (bathed in 100% glycerol) at several temperatures. Mutations in key distal hemepocket residues are used to eliminate or enhance specific relaxation modes. The time-resolved data are analyzed with a modified Agmon-Hopfield model which is capable of providing excellent fits in cases where a single relaxation mode is dominant. Using this approach, we determine the relaxation rate constants of specific functionally important modes, obtaining also their Arrhenius activation energies. We find a hierarchy of distal pocket modes controlling the rebinding kinetics. The "heme access mode" (HAM) is responsible for the major slow-down in rebinding. It is a solvent-coupled cooperative mode which restricts ligand return from the xenon cavities. Bulky side-chains, like those His64 and Trp29 (in the L29W mutant), operate like overdamped pendulums which move over and block the binding site. They may be either unslaved (His64) or moderately slaved (Trp29) to the solvent. Small side-chain relaxations, most notably of leucines, are revealed in some mutants (V68L, V68A). They are conjectured to facilitate inter-cavity ligand motion. When all relaxations are arrested (H64L in trehalose), we observe pure inhomogeneous kinetics with no temperature dependence, suggesting that proximal relaxation is not a factor on the investigated timescale.

  13. Functional proteomic analysis reveals the involvement of KIAA1199 in breast cancer growth, motility and invasiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jami, Mohammad-Saeid; Huang, Xin; Peng, Hong; Fu, Kai; Li, Yan; Singh, Rakesh K; Ding, Shi-Jian; Hou, Jinxuan; Liu, Miao; Varney, Michelle L; Hassan, Hesham; Dong, Jixin; Geng, Liying; Wang, Jing; Yu, Fang

    2014-01-01

    KIAA1199 is a recently identified novel gene that is up-regulated in human cancer with poor survival. Our proteomic study on signaling polarity in chemotactic cells revealed KIAA1199 as a novel protein target that may be involved in cellular chemotaxis and motility. In the present study, we examined the functional significance of KIAA1199 expression in breast cancer growth, motility and invasiveness. We validated the previous microarray observation by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry using a TMA slide containing 12 breast tumor tissue cores and 12 corresponding normal tissues. We performed the shRNA-mediated knockdown of KIAA1199 in MDA-MB-231 and HS578T cells to study the role of this protein in cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis in vitro. We studied the effects of KIAA1199 knockdown in vivo in two groups of mice (n = 5). We carried out the SILAC LC-MS/MS based proteomic studies on the involvement of KIAA1199 in breast cancer. KIAA1199 mRNA and protein was significantly overexpressed in breast tumor specimens and cell lines as compared with non-neoplastic breast tissues from large-scale microarray and studies of breast cancer cell lines and tumors. To gain deeper insights into the novel role of KIAA1199 in breast cancer, we modulated KIAA1199 expression using shRNA-mediated knockdown in two breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and HS578T), expressing higher levels of KIAA1199. The KIAA1199 knockdown cells showed reduced motility and cell proliferation in vitro. Moreover, when the knockdown cells were injected into the mammary fat pads of female athymic nude mice, there was a significant decrease in tumor incidence and growth. In addition, quantitative proteomic analysis revealed that knockdown of KIAA1199 in breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) cells affected a broad range of cellular functions including apoptosis, metabolism and cell motility. Our findings indicate that KIAA1199 may play an important role in breast tumor growth and invasiveness, and that it

  14. Metaproteomics and metabolomics analyses of chronically petroleum-polluted sites reveal the importance of general anaerobic processes uncoupled with degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiela, Rafael; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Martínez-Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, María; Crisafi, Francesca; Denaro, Renata; Chernikova, Tatyana N; Barbas, Coral; von Bergen, Martin; Yakimov, Michail M; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N

    2015-10-01

    Crude oil is one of the most important natural assets for humankind, yet it is a major environmental pollutant, notably in marine environments. One of the largest crude oil polluted areas in the word is the semi-enclosed Mediterranean Sea, in which the metabolic potential of indigenous microbial populations towards the large-scale chronic pollution is yet to be defined, particularly in anaerobic and micro-aerophilic sites. Here, we provide an insight into the microbial metabolism in sediments from three chronically polluted marine sites along the coastline of Italy: the Priolo oil terminal/refinery site (near Siracuse, Sicily), harbour of Messina (Sicily) and shipwreck of MT Haven (near Genoa). Using shotgun metaproteomics and community metabolomics approaches, the presence of 651 microbial proteins and 4776 metabolite mass features have been detected in these three environments, revealing a high metabolic heterogeneity between the investigated sites. The proteomes displayed the prevalence of anaerobic metabolisms that were not directly related with petroleum biodegradation, indicating that in the absence of oxygen, biodegradation is significantly suppressed. This suppression was also suggested by examining the metabolome patterns. The proteome analysis further highlighted the metabolic coupling between methylotrophs and sulphate reducers in oxygen-depleted petroleum-polluted sediments. © 2015 The Authors. PROTEOMICS published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Metaproteomics and metabolomics analyses of chronically petroleum‐polluted sites reveal the importance of general anaerobic processes uncoupled with degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiela, Rafael; Herbst, Florian‐Alexander; Martínez‐Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, María; Crisafi, Francesca; Denaro, Renata; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Barbas, Coral; von Bergen, Martin; Yakimov, Michail M.; Golyshin, Peter N.

    2015-01-01

    Crude oil is one of the most important natural assets for humankind, yet it is a major environmental pollutant, notably in marine environments. One of the largest crude oil polluted areas in the word is the semi‐enclosed Mediterranean Sea, in which the metabolic potential of indigenous microbial populations towards the large‐scale chronic pollution is yet to be defined, particularly in anaerobic and micro‐aerophilic sites. Here, we provide an insight into the microbial metabolism in sediments from three chronically polluted marine sites along the coastline of Italy: the Priolo oil terminal/refinery site (near Siracuse, Sicily), harbour of Messina (Sicily) and shipwreck of MT Haven (near Genoa). Using shotgun metaproteomics and community metabolomics approaches, the presence of 651 microbial proteins and 4776 metabolite mass features have been detected in these three environments, revealing a high metabolic heterogeneity between the investigated sites. The proteomes displayed the prevalence of anaerobic metabolisms that were not directly related with petroleum biodegradation, indicating that in the absence of oxygen, biodegradation is significantly suppressed. This suppression was also suggested by examining the metabolome patterns. The proteome analysis further highlighted the metabolic coupling between methylotrophs and sulphate reducers in oxygen‐depleted petroleum‐polluted sediments. PMID:26201687

  16. Phylogeographic structure of the commercially important tropical tree species Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. F. (Dipterocarpaceae revealed by microsatellite markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fifi Gus Dwiyanti

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. F. (Kapur is an economically important timber     species in Southeast Asia that can serve as a good model for studying the impact of the Pleistocene glaciations on the genetic diversity and distribution of species in tropical regions. Seven polymorphic microsatellite markers were        analyzed in five natural populations of D. aromatica (N = 120 individuals: Gunung Panti in Malay Peninsula, Lingga Island in Lingga Archipelago, Lambir Hills National Park, Limbang and Similajau National Park in Borneo. The level of gene diversity (HE for the five populations was relatively high with a range from 0.571 (Similajau to 0.729 (Gunung Panti. The high genetic diversity in the present study could be attributed to the larger refugia population sizes of D. aromatica than that of other species. The population genetic structure revealed two distinct groups: the Malay Peninsula-Lingga Archipelago and Borneo. This pattern suggests that populations in each geographical area might be the consequence of post-glacial expansion from one or two refugia, but that gene flow between different glacial refugia was fairly restricted. 

  17. Combined Transcriptomic Analysis Revealed AKR1B10 Played an Important Role in Psoriasis through the Dysregulated Lipid Pathway and Overproliferation of Keratinocyte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunlu Gao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available RNA-seq has enabled in-depth analysis of the pathogenesis of psoriasis on the transcriptomic level, and many biomarkers have been discovered to be related to the immune response, lipid metabolism, and keratinocyte proliferation. However, few studies have combined analysis from various datasets. In this study, we integrated different psoriasis RNA-seq datasets to reveal the pathogenesis of psoriasis through the analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs, pathway analysis, and functional annotation. The revealed biomarkers were further validated through proliferation phenotypes. The results showed that DEGs were functionally related to lipid metabolism and keratinocyte differentiation dysregulation. The results also showed new biomarkers, such as AKR1B10 and PLA2G gene families, as well as pathways that include the PPAR signaling pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, alpha-linoleic acid metabolism, and glycosphingolipid biosynthesis. Using siRNA knockdown assays, we further validated the role that the AKR1B10 gene plays in proliferation. Our study demonstrated not only the dysfunction of the AKR1B10 gene in lipid metabolizing but also its important role in the overproliferation and migration of keratinocyte, which provided evidence for further therapeutic uses for psoriasis.

  18. Geomicrobiology of Hydrothermal Vents in Yellowstone Lake: Phylogenetic and Functional Analysis suggest Importance of Geochemistry (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskeep, W. P.; Macur, R.; Jay, Z.; Clingenpeel, S.; Tenney, A.; Lavalvo, D.; Shanks, W. C.; McDermott, T.; Kan, J.; Gorby, Y.; Morgan, L. A.; Yooseph, S.; Varley, J.; Nealson, K.

    2010-12-01

    Yellowstone Lake (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA) is a large, high-altitude, fresh-water lake that straddles the most recent Yellowstone caldera, and is situated on top of significant hydrothermal activity. An interdisciplinary study is underway to evaluate the geochemical and geomicrobiological characteristics of several hydrothermal vent environments sampled using a remotely operated vehicle, and to determine the degree to which these vents may influence the biology of this young freshwater ecosystem. Approximately six different vent systems (locations) were sampled during 2007 and 2008, and included water obtained directly from the hydrothermal vents as well as biomass and sediment associated with these high-temperature environments. Thorough geochemical analysis of these hydrothermal environments reveals variation in pH, sulfide, hydrogen and other potential electron donors that may drive primary productivity. The concentrations of dissolved hydrogen and sulfide were extremely high in numerous vents sampled, especially the deeper (30-50 m) vents located in the Inflated Plain, West Thumb, and Mary Bay. Significant dilution of hydrothermal fluids occurs due to mixing with surrounding lake water. Despite this, the temperatures observed in many of these hydrothermal vents range from 50-90 C, and elevated concentrations of constituents typically associated with geothermal activity in Yellowstone are observed in waters sampled directly from vent discharge. Microorganisms associated with elemental sulfur mats and filamentous ‘streamer’ communities of Inflated Plain and West Thumb (pH range 5-6) were dominated by members of the deeply-rooted bacterial Order Aquificales, but also contain thermophilic members of the domain Archaea. Assembly of metagenome sequence from the Inflated Plain vent biomass and to a lesser extent, West Thumb vent biomass reveal the importance of Sulfurihydrogenibium-like organisms, also important in numerous terrestrial geothermal

  19. Functional analysis of rice HOMEOBOX4 (Oshox4) gene reveals a negative function in gibberellin responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Mingqiu; Hu, Yongfeng; Ma, Qian; Zhao, Yu; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2008-02-01

    The homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) putative transcription factor genes are divided into 4 families. In this work, we studied the function of a rice HD-Zip I gene, H OME O BO X4 (Oshox4). Oshox4 transcripts were detected in leaf and floral organ primordia but excluded from the shoot apical meristem and the protein was nuclear localized. Over-expression of Oshox4 in rice induced a semi-dwarf phenotype that could not be complemented by applied GA3. The over-expression plants accumulated elevated levels of bioactive GA, while the GA catabolic gene GA2ox3 was upregulated in the transgenic plants. In addition, over-expression of Oshox4 blocked GA-dependent alpha-amylase production. However, down-regulation of Oshox4 in RNAi transgenic plants induced no phenotypic alteration. Interestingly, the expression of YAB1 that is involved in the negative feedback regulation of the GA biosynthesis was upregulated in the Oshox4 over-expressing plants. One-hybrid assays showed that Oshox4 could interact with YAB1 promoter in yeast. In addition, Oshox4 expression was upregulated by GA. These data together suggest that Oshox4 may be involved in the negative regulation of GA signalling and may play a role to fine tune GA responses in rice.

  20. The prognostic importance of lung function in patients admitted with heart failure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Kasper Karmark; Kjaergaard, Jesper; Akkan, Dilek

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic importance for all-cause mortality of lung function variables obtained by spirometry in an unselected group of patients admitted with heart failure (HF).......The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic importance for all-cause mortality of lung function variables obtained by spirometry in an unselected group of patients admitted with heart failure (HF)....

  1. The radioimmunoassay in revealing preclinical disorders of the pituitary-thyroid system functioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Piven', N.V.; Pilatova, N.L.; Lukhverchik, L.N.; Kuz'menkova, E.I.; Solovej, V.V.; Mokhort, T.V.

    2001-01-01

    The main purpose of this research was to study the value of radioimmunoassay (RIA) for assessing the pituitary - thyroid function in healthy persons (aged 18-45). Quantitative criteria have been worked put for estimation of thyroid gland function for the population of Belarus in accordance with regional ecological situation. On this basis, concentrations of thyrotropin, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, thyroglobulin, thyroxine binding globulin were determined by RIA in blood samples. The analysis of the data obtained revealed latent forms of hyperthyroidism (42%) and hypothyroidism (21%), regarded by the authors as late medical consequences of Chernobyl accident. Subclinical stages were diagnosed in most cases. Thus RIA has proved useful for studying the functional state of the regulatory 'pituitary-thyroid gland' system and revealing prenosological disorders in it

  2. Perceived difficulty, importance, and satisfaction with physical function in COPD patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berry Michael J

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Research suggests that patients' satisfaction with their physical functioning (SPF is a critical component of HRQL. This study was designed to examine the extent to which perceptions of physical function and the value placed on physical function are related to satisfaction ratings. The sample consisted of older adults suffering from a progressively debilitating disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD. Methods During baseline assessments, COPD patients participating in a randomized controlled physical activity trial completed measures of SPF, perceived difficulty, and perceived importance. Results An ANCOVA controlling for age and gender indicated that perceived difficulty, perceived importance, and their interaction accounted for 43% of the variance in SPF. Additionally, participants were most satisfied with important tasks that they performed with little difficulty. Participants were least satisfied with important tasks that they perceived as highly difficult. Conclusion The results of the present study indicate that not being able to perform valued tasks produces discontent that is reflected in lower rating of satisfaction with physical functioning. Clearly, the significance of loss in function to individual patients is related to the importance of the functional activities that may be compromised. These data have implications for the scope of patient assessment in clinical care and for the conceptual basis of future research in the area of physical functioning.

  3. Seismic margin reviews of nuclear power plants: Identification of important functions and systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prassinos, P.G.; Moore, D.L.; Amico, P.J.

    1987-01-01

    The results from the review of the seven utility-sponsored seismic PRAs plus the Zion SSMRP have been used to develop some insights regarding the importance of various systems and functions to seismic margins. By taking this information and combining it with the fragility insights we can develop some functional/systemic screening guideline for margin studies. This screening approach will greatly reduce the scope of the analysis. It is possible only to come to conclusions regarding the importance of plant systems and safety functions for PWRs, for which six plants were studied. For PWRs, it is possible to categorize plant safety functions as belonging to one of two groups, one of which is important to the assessment of seismic margins and one of which is not. The important functional group involves only two functions that must be considered for estimating seismic margin. These two functions are shutting down the nuclear reaction and providing cooling to the reactor core in the time period immediately following the seismic event (that is, the injection phase or pre-residual heat removal time period). It is possible to reasonably estimate the seismic margin of the plant by performing a study only involving the analysis of the plant systems and structure which are required in order to perform the two functions. Such analysis must include an assessment of a complete set of seismic initiating events. (orig./HP)

  4. Stable isotope probing reveals the importance of Comamonas and Pseudomonadaceae in RDX degradation in samples from a Navy detonation site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Indumathy; Cupples, Alison M

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated the microorganisms involved in hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) degradation from a detonation area at a Navy base. Using Illumina sequencing, microbial communities were compared between the initial sample, samples following RDX degradation, and controls not amended with RDX to determine which phylotypes increased in abundance following RDX degradation. The effect of glucose on these communities was also examined. In addition, stable isotope probing (SIP) using labeled ((13)C3, (15)N3-ring) RDX was performed. Illumina sequencing revealed that several phylotypes were more abundant following RDX degradation compared to the initial soil and the no-RDX controls. For the glucose-amended samples, this trend was strong for an unclassified Pseudomonadaceae phylotype and for Comamonas. Without glucose, Acinetobacter exhibited the greatest increase following RDX degradation compared to the initial soil and no-RDX controls. Rhodococcus, a known RDX degrader, also increased in abundance following RDX degradation. For the SIP study, unclassified Pseudomonadaceae was the most abundant phylotype in the heavy fractions in both the presence and absence of glucose. In the glucose-amended heavy fractions, the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes of Comamonas and Anaeromxyobacter were also present. Without glucose, the heavy fractions also contained the 16S rRNA genes of Azohydromonas and Rhodococcus. However, all four phylotypes were present at a much lower level compared to unclassified Pseudomonadaceae. Overall, these data indicate that unclassified Pseudomonadaceae was primarily responsible for label uptake in both treatments. This study indicates, for the first time, the importance of Comamonas for RDX removal.

  5. Volumetric flow imaging reveals the importance of vortex ring formation in squid swimming tail-first and arms-first.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartol, Ian K; Krueger, Paul S; Jastrebsky, Rachel A; Williams, Sheila; Thompson, Joseph T

    2016-02-01

    Squids use a pulsed jet and fin movements to swim both arms-first (forward) and tail-first (backward). Given the complexity of the squid multi-propulsor system, 3D velocimetry techniques are required for the comprehensive study of wake dynamics. Defocusing digital particle tracking velocimetry, a volumetric velocimetry technique, and high-speed videography were used to study arms-first and tail-first swimming of brief squid Lolliguncula brevis over a broad range of speeds [0-10 dorsal mantle lengths (DML) s(-1)] in a swim tunnel. Although there was considerable complexity in the wakes of these multi-propulsor swimmers, 3D vortex rings and their derivatives were prominent reoccurring features during both tail-first and arms-first swimming, with the greatest jet and fin flow complexity occurring at intermediate speeds (1.5-3.0 DML s(-1)). The jet generally produced the majority of thrust during rectilinear swimming, increasing in relative importance with speed, and the fins provided no thrust at speeds >4.5 DML s(-1). For both swimming orientations, the fins sometimes acted as stabilizers, producing negative thrust (drag), and consistently provided lift at low/intermediate speeds (swimming orientation, and η for swimming sequences with clear isolated jet vortex rings was significantly greater (η=78.6±7.6%, mean±s.d.) than that for swimming sequences with clear elongated regions of concentrated jet vorticity (η=67.9±19.2%). This study reveals the complexity of 3D vortex wake flows produced by nekton with hydrodynamically distinct propulsors. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Site-Directed Mutagenesis Study Revealed Three Important Residues in Hc-DAF-22, a Key Enzyme Regulating Diapause of Haemonchus contortus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Huang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus is one of the most important parasites of small ruminants, especially goats and sheep. The complex life cycle of this nematode is a main obstacle for the control and prevention of haemonchosis. So far, a special form of arrested development called diapause different from the dauer stage in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans has been found in many parasitic nematodes. In our previous study, we have characterized a novel gene Hc-daf-22 from H. contortus sharing high homology with Ce-daf-22 and functional analysis showed this gene has similar biological function with Ce-daf-22. In this study, Hc-daf-22 mutants were constructed using site-directed mutagenesis, and carried out rescue experiments, RNA interference (RNAi experiments and in vitro enzyme activity analysis with the mutants to further explore the precise function site of Hc-DAF-22. The results showed that Hc-daf-22 mutants could be expressed in the rescued ok693 worms and the expression positions were mainly in the intestine which was identical with that of Hc-daf-22 rescued worms. Through lipid staining we found that Hc-daf-22 could rescue daf-22 mutant (ok693 from the fatty acid metabolism deficiency while Hc-daf-22 mutants failed. Brood size and body length analyses in rescue experiment along with body length and life span analyses in RNAi experiment elucidated that Hc-daf-22 resembled Ce-daf-22 in effecting the development and capacity of C. elegans and mutants impaired the function of Hc-daf-22. Together with the protease activity assay, this research revealed three important active resides 84C/299H/349H in Hc-DAF-22 by site-directed mutagenesis.

  7. Site-Directed Mutagenesis Study Revealed Three Important Residues in Hc-DAF-22, a Key Enzyme Regulating Diapause of Haemonchus contortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Zheng, Xiuping; Zhang, Hongli; Ding, Haojie; Guo, Xiaolu; Yang, Yi; Chen, Xueqiu; Zhou, Qianjin; Du, Aifang

    2017-01-01

    Haemonchus contortus ( H. contortus ) is one of the most important parasites of small ruminants, especially goats and sheep. The complex life cycle of this nematode is a main obstacle for the control and prevention of haemonchosis. So far, a special form of arrested development called diapause different from the dauer stage in Caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ) has been found in many parasitic nematodes. In our previous study, we have characterized a novel gene Hc-daf-22 from H. contortus sharing high homology with Ce-daf-22 and functional analysis showed this gene has similar biological function with Ce-daf-22 . In this study, Hc-daf-22 mutants were constructed using site-directed mutagenesis, and carried out rescue experiments, RNA interference (RNAi) experiments and in vitro enzyme activity analysis with the mutants to further explore the precise function site of Hc-DAF-22. The results showed that Hc-daf-22 mutants could be expressed in the rescued ok693 worms and the expression positions were mainly in the intestine which was identical with that of Hc-daf-22 rescued worms. Through lipid staining we found that Hc-daf-22 could rescue daf-22 mutant ( ok693 ) from the fatty acid metabolism deficiency while Hc-daf-22 mutants failed. Brood size and body length analyses in rescue experiment along with body length and life span analyses in RNAi experiment elucidated that Hc-daf-22 resembled Ce-daf-22 in effecting the development and capacity of C. elegans and mutants impaired the function of Hc-daf-22 . Together with the protease activity assay, this research revealed three important active resides 84C/299H/349H in Hc-DAF-22 by site-directed mutagenesis.

  8. Root Transcriptomic Analysis Revealing the Importance of Energy Metabolism to the Development of Deep Roots in Rice (Oryza sativa L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiaojun Lou

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Drought is the most serious abiotic stress limiting rice production, and deep root is the key contributor to drought avoidance. However, the genetic mechanism regulating the development of deep roots is largely unknown. In this study, the transcriptomes of 74 root samples from 37 rice varieties, representing the extreme genotypes of shallow or deep rooting, were surveyed by RNA-seq. The 13,242 differentially expressed genes (DEGs between deep rooting and shallow rooting varieties (H vs. L were enriched in the pathway of genetic information processing and metabolism, while the 1,052 DEGs between the deep roots and shallow roots from each of the plants (D vs. S were significantly enriched in metabolic pathways especially energy metabolism. Ten quantitative trait transcripts (QTTs were identified and some were involved in energy metabolism. Forty-nine candidate DEGs were confirmed by qRT-PCR and microarray. Through weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA, we found 18 hub genes. Surprisingly, all these hub genes expressed higher in deep roots than in shallow roots, furthermore half of them functioned in energy metabolism. We also estimated that the ATP production in the deep roots was faster than shallow roots. Our results provided a lot of reliable candidate genes to improve deep rooting, and firstly highlight the importance of energy metabolism to the development of deep roots.

  9. Root Transcriptomic Analysis Revealing the Importance of Energy Metabolism to the Development of Deep Roots in Rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Qiaojun; Chen, Liang; Mei, Hanwei; Xu, Kai; Wei, Haibin; Feng, Fangjun; Li, Tiemei; Pang, Xiaomeng; Shi, Caiping; Luo, Lijun; Zhong, Yang

    2017-01-01

    Drought is the most serious abiotic stress limiting rice production, and deep root is the key contributor to drought avoidance. However, the genetic mechanism regulating the development of deep roots is largely unknown. In this study, the transcriptomes of 74 root samples from 37 rice varieties, representing the extreme genotypes of shallow or deep rooting, were surveyed by RNA-seq. The 13,242 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between deep rooting and shallow rooting varieties (H vs. L) were enriched in the pathway of genetic information processing and metabolism, while the 1,052 DEGs between the deep roots and shallow roots from each of the plants (D vs. S) were significantly enriched in metabolic pathways especially energy metabolism. Ten quantitative trait transcripts (QTTs) were identified and some were involved in energy metabolism. Forty-nine candidate DEGs were confirmed by qRT-PCR and microarray. Through weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we found 18 hub genes. Surprisingly, all these hub genes expressed higher in deep roots than in shallow roots, furthermore half of them functioned in energy metabolism. We also estimated that the ATP production in the deep roots was faster than shallow roots. Our results provided a lot of reliable candidate genes to improve deep rooting, and firstly highlight the importance of energy metabolism to the development of deep roots.

  10. Functional redundancy patterns reveal non-random assembly rules in a species-rich marine assemblage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Guillemot

    Full Text Available The relationship between species and the functional diversity of assemblages is fundamental in ecology because it contains key information on functional redundancy, and functionally redundant ecosystems are thought to be more resilient, resistant and stable. However, this relationship is poorly understood and undocumented for species-rich coastal marine ecosystems. Here, we used underwater visual censuses to examine the patterns of functional redundancy for one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages, the coral reef fishes of New Caledonia, South Pacific. First, we found that the relationship between functional and species diversity displayed a non-asymptotic power-shaped curve, implying that rare functions and species mainly occur in highly diverse assemblages. Second, we showed that the distribution of species amongst possible functions was significantly different from a random distribution up to a threshold of ∼90 species/transect. Redundancy patterns for each function further revealed that some functions displayed fast rates of increase in redundancy at low species diversity, whereas others were only becoming redundant past a certain threshold. This suggested non-random assembly rules and the existence of some primordial functions that would need to be fulfilled in priority so that coral reef fish assemblages can gain a basic ecological structure. Last, we found little effect of habitat on the shape of the functional-species diversity relationship and on the redundancy of functions, although habitat is known to largely determine assemblage characteristics such as species composition, biomass, and abundance. Our study shows that low functional redundancy is characteristic of this highly diverse fish assemblage, and, therefore, that even species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs may be vulnerable to the removal of a few keystone species.

  11. The Chlamydomonas Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merchant, Sabeeha S

    2007-04-09

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the 120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella.

  12. Transcriptomic analysis reveals importance of ROS and phytohormones in response to short-term salinity stress in Populus tomentosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingyu eZheng

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Populus tomentosa (Chinese white poplar is well adapted to various extreme environments, and is considered an important species to study the effects of salinity stress on poplar trees. To decipher the mechanism of poplar’s rapid response to short-term salinity stress, we firstly detected the changes in H2O2 and hormone, and then profiled the gene expression pattern of ten-week-old seedling roots treated with 200 mM NaCl for 0, 6, 12 and 24 hours (h by RNA-seq on the Illumina-Solexa platform. Physiological determination showed that the significant increase in H2O2 began at 6 h, while that in hormone ABA was at 24 h, under salt stress. Compared with controls (0 h, 3991, 4603 and 4903 genes were up regulated, and 1408, 2206 and 3461 genes were down regulated (adjusted P-value ≤ 0.05 and |log2Ratio|≥1 at 6, 12, and 24 h time points, respectively. The Gene Ontology (GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway annotation revealed that the differentially expressed genes (DEGs were highly enriched in hormone- and reactive oxygen species-related biological processes, including ‘response to oxidative stress or abiotic stimulus’, ‘peroxidase activity’, ‘regulation of transcription’, ‘hormone synthetic and metabolic process’, ‘hormone signal transduction’, ‘antioxidant activity’ and ‘transcription factor activity’. Moreover, K-means clustering demonstrated that DEGs (total RPKM value>12 from four time points could be categorized into four kinds of expression trends: quick up/down over 6 h or 12 h, and slow up/down over 24 h. Of these, DEGs involved in H2O2- and hormone- producing and signal-related genes were further enriched in this analysis, which indicated that the two kinds of small molecules, hormones and H2O2, play pivotal roles in the short-term salt stress response in poplar. This study provides a basis for future studies of the molecular adaptation of poplar and other tree species to salinity

  13. Proteomic analysis reveals the important roles of alpha-5-collagen and ATP5β during skin ulceration syndrome progression of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zelong; Jiang, Jingwei; Pan, Yongjia; Sun, Hongjuan; Guan, Xiaoyan; Gao, Shan; Chen, Zhong; Dong, Ying; Zhou, Zunchun

    2018-03-20

    Apostichopus japonicus is one of the most important aquaculture species in China. Skin ulceration syndrome (SUS) of sea cucumber is a common and serious disease affected the development of A. japonicus culture industry. To better understand the response mechanisms of A. japonicus during SUS progression, the protein variations in the body wall of A. japonicus at different stages of SUS were investigated by a comparative proteomic approach based on isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification. A total of 1449 proteins were identified from the samples at different SUS stages. Among these proteins, 145 proteins were differentially expressed in the SUS-related samples compared to those of healthy A. japonicus. These differentially expressed proteins involved a wide range of functions. Among these differentially expressed proteins, only two proteins, alpha-5-collagen and an unknown function protein, were differentially expressed during the whole progression of SUS compared with healthy A. japonicus. In addition, ATP synthase subunit beta (ATP5β) interacted with a variety of proteins with different functions during the SUS progression. These results implied that alpha-5-collagen and ATP5β could play important roles during the SUS progression of A. japonicus. Our study provided a new sight to understand the molecular responses of sea cucumber during the SUS progression and accumulated data for the prevention of SUS in sea cucumber aquaculture. The current study aimed to reveal how the body wall of Apostichopus japonicus response to skin ulceration syndrome (SUS). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first proteomic study analyzing the differences in protein profile of sea cucumber during the whole SUS progression. By analyzing the expression differences of the proteome via isobaric labeling-based quantitative proteomic, we identified some proteins which may play important roles during the SUS progression. According to the enrichment analyses of these

  14. Calculation of neutron importance function in fissionable assemblies using Monte Carlo method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feghhi, S.A.H.; Shahriari, M.; Afarideh, H.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present work is to develop an efficient solution method for the calculation of neutron importance function in fissionable assemblies for all criticality conditions, based on Monte Carlo calculations. The neutron importance function has an important role in perturbation theory and reactor dynamic calculations. Usually this function can be determined by calculating the adjoint flux while solving the adjoint weighted transport equation based on deterministic methods. However, in complex geometries these calculations are very complicated. In this article, considering the capabilities of MCNP code in solving problems with complex geometries and its closeness to physical concepts, a comprehensive method based on the physical concept of neutron importance has been introduced for calculating the neutron importance function in sub-critical, critical and super-critical conditions. For this propose a computer program has been developed. The results of the method have been benchmarked with ANISN code calculations in 1 and 2 group modes for simple geometries. The correctness of these results has been confirmed for all three criticality conditions. Finally, the efficiency of the method for complex geometries has been shown by the calculation of neutron importance in Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) research reactor

  15. Calculation of neutron importance function in fissionable assemblies using Monte Carlo method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feghhi, S. A. H.; Afarideh, H.; Shahriari, M.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present work is to develop an efficient solution method to calculate neutron importance function in fissionable assemblies for all criticality conditions, using Monte Carlo Method. The neutron importance function has a well important role in perturbation theory and reactor dynamic calculations. Usually this function can be determined by calculating adjoint flux through out solving the Adjoint weighted transport equation with deterministic methods. However, in complex geometries these calculations are very difficult. In this article, considering the capabilities of MCNP code in solving problems with complex geometries and its closeness to physical concepts, a comprehensive method based on physical concept of neutron importance has been introduced for calculating neutron importance function in sub-critical, critical and supercritical conditions. For this means a computer program has been developed. The results of the method has been benchmarked with ANISN code calculations in 1 and 2 group modes for simple geometries and their correctness has been approved for all three criticality conditions. Ultimately, the efficiency of the method for complex geometries has been shown by calculation of neutron importance in MNSR research reactor

  16. Functional comparison of the nematode Hox gene lin-39 in C. elegans and P. pacificus reveals evolutionary conservation of protein function despite divergence of primary sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

    Hox transcription factors have been implicated in playing a central role in the evolution of animal morphology. Many studies indicate the evolutionary importance of regulatory changes in Hox genes, but little is known about the role of functional changes in Hox proteins. In the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans, developmental processes can be compared at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels and differences in gene function can be identified. The Hox gene lin-39 is involved in the regulation of nematode vulva development. Comparison of known lin-39 mutations in P. pacificus and C. elegans revealed both conservation and changes of gene function. Here, we study evolutionary changes of lin-39 function using hybrid transgenes and site-directed mutagenesis in an in vivo assay using C. elegans lin-39 mutants. Our data show that despite the functional differences of LIN-39 between the two species, Ppa-LIN-39, when driven by Cel-lin-39 regulatory elements, can functionally replace Cel-lin-39. Furthermore, we show that the MAPK docking and phosphorylation motifs unique for Cel-LIN-39 are dispensable for Cel-lin-39 function. Therefore, the evolution of lin-39 function is driven by changes in regulatory elements rather than changes in the protein itself.

  17. Comparative genomics reveals high biological diversity and specific adaptations in the industrially and medically important fungal genus Aspergillus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Vries, Ronald P.; Riley, Robert; Wiebenga, Ad

    2017-01-01

    Background:  The fungal genus Aspergillus is of critical importance to humankind. Species include those with industrial applications, important pathogens of humans, animals and crops, a source of potent carcinogenic contaminants of food, and an important genetic model. The genome sequences of eig...

  18. Comparative genome analysis of PHB gene family reveals deep evolutionary origins and diverse gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Chao; Xu, Wenying; Su, Zhen; Yuan, Joshua S

    2010-10-07

    PHB (Prohibitin) gene family is involved in a variety of functions important for different biological processes. PHB genes are ubiquitously present in divergent species from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Human PHB genes have been found to be associated with various diseases. Recent studies by our group and others have shown diverse function of PHB genes in plants for development, senescence, defence, and others. Despite the importance of the PHB gene family, no comprehensive gene family analysis has been carried to evaluate the relatedness of PHB genes across different species. In order to better guide the gene function analysis and understand the evolution of the PHB gene family, we therefore carried out the comparative genome analysis of the PHB genes across different kingdoms. The relatedness, motif distribution, and intron/exon distribution all indicated that PHB genes is a relatively conserved gene family. The PHB genes can be classified into 5 classes and each class have a very deep evolutionary origin. The PHB genes within the class maintained the same motif patterns during the evolution. With Arabidopsis as the model species, we found that PHB gene intron/exon structure and domains are also conserved during the evolution. Despite being a conserved gene family, various gene duplication events led to the expansion of the PHB genes. Both segmental and tandem gene duplication were involved in Arabidopsis PHB gene family expansion. However, segmental duplication is predominant in Arabidopsis. Moreover, most of the duplicated genes experienced neofunctionalization. The results highlighted that PHB genes might be involved in important functions so that the duplicated genes are under the evolutionary pressure to derive new function. PHB gene family is a conserved gene family and accounts for diverse but important biological functions based on the similar molecular mechanisms. The highly diverse biological function indicated that more research needs to be carried out

  19. Phosphoproteome analysis of functional mitochondria isolated from resting human muscle reveals extensive phosphorylation of inner membrane protein complexes and enzymes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Xiaolu; Leon, Ileana R; Bak, Steffen

    2011-01-01

    . In skeletal muscle, mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to insulin resistance in humans with obesity and type 2 diabetes. We performed a phosphoproteomic study of functional mitochondria isolated from human muscle biopsies with the aim to obtain a comprehensive overview of mitochondrial phosphoproteins...... in insulin resistance. We also assigned phosphorylation sites in mitochondrial proteins involved in amino acid degradation, importers and transporters, calcium homeostasis, and apoptosis. Bioinformatics analysis of kinase motifs revealed that many of these mitochondrial phosphoproteins are substrates....... Future comparative phosphoproteome analysis of mitochondria from healthy and diseased individuals will provide insights into the role of abnormal phosphorylation in pathologies, such as type 2 diabetes....

  20. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diverse microbial communities reveals core metabolic pathways and microbiome-specific functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Xiong, Xuejian; Danska, Jayne; Parkinson, John

    2016-01-12

    Metatranscriptomics is emerging as a powerful technology for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Use of unbiased RNA-sequencing can reveal both the taxonomic composition and active biochemical functions of a complex microbial community. However, the lack of established reference genomes, computational tools and pipelines make analysis and interpretation of these datasets challenging. Systematic studies that compare data across microbiomes are needed to demonstrate the ability of such pipelines to deliver biologically meaningful insights on microbiome function. Here, we apply a standardized analytical pipeline to perform a comparative analysis of metatranscriptomic data from diverse microbial communities derived from mouse large intestine, cow rumen, kimchi culture, deep-sea thermal vent and permafrost. Sequence similarity searches allowed annotation of 19 to 76% of putative messenger RNA (mRNA) reads, with the highest frequency in the kimchi dataset due to its relatively low complexity and availability of closely related reference genomes. Metatranscriptomic datasets exhibited distinct taxonomic and functional signatures. From a metabolic perspective, we identified a common core of enzymes involved in amino acid, energy and nucleotide metabolism and also identified microbiome-specific pathways such as phosphonate metabolism (deep sea) and glycan degradation pathways (cow rumen). Integrating taxonomic and functional annotations within a novel visualization framework revealed the contribution of different taxa to metabolic pathways, allowing the identification of taxa that contribute unique functions. The application of a single, standard pipeline confirms that the rich taxonomic and functional diversity observed across microbiomes is not simply an artefact of different analysis pipelines but instead reflects distinct environmental influences. At the same time, our findings show how microbiome complexity and availability of

  1. Time-dependent importance sampling in semiclassical initial value representation calculations for time correlation functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Guohua; Miller, William H

    2011-07-14

    An efficient time-dependent importance sampling method is developed for the Monte Carlo calculation of time correlation functions via the initial value representation (IVR) of semiclassical (SC) theory. A prefactor-free time-dependent sampling function weights the importance of a trajectory based on the magnitude of its contribution to the time correlation function, and global trial moves are used to facilitate the efficient sampling the phase space of initial conditions. The method can be generally applied to sampling rare events efficiently while avoiding being trapped in a local region of the phase space. Results presented in the paper for two system-bath models demonstrate the efficiency of this new importance sampling method for full SC-IVR calculations.

  2. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari J S Ferreira

    Full Text Available Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  3. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S

    2014-06-12

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world\\'s oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  4. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, Joã o C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvä slaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André ; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A.C.; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B.; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  5. Modular organization of the white spruce (Picea glauca) transcriptome reveals functional organization and evolutionary signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raherison, Elie S M; Giguère, Isabelle; Caron, Sébastien; Lamara, Mebarek; MacKay, John J

    2015-07-01

    Transcript profiling has shown the molecular bases of several biological processes in plants but few studies have developed an understanding of overall transcriptome variation. We investigated transcriptome structure in white spruce (Picea glauca), aiming to delineate its modular organization and associated functional and evolutionary attributes. Microarray analyses were used to: identify and functionally characterize groups of co-expressed genes; investigate expressional and functional diversity of vascular tissue preferential genes which were conserved among Picea species, and identify expression networks underlying wood formation. We classified 22 857 genes as variable (79%; 22 coexpression groups) or invariant (21%) by profiling across several vegetative tissues. Modular organization and complex transcriptome restructuring among vascular tissue preferential genes was revealed by their assignment to coexpression groups with partially overlapping profiles and partially distinct functions. Integrated analyses of tissue-based and temporally variable profiles identified secondary xylem gene networks, showed their remodelling over a growing season and identified PgNAC-7 (no apical meristerm (NAM), Arabidopsis transcription activation factor (ATAF) and cup-shaped cotyledon (CUC) transcription factor 007 in Picea glauca) as a major hub gene specific to earlywood formation. Reference profiling identified comprehensive, statistically robust coexpressed groups, revealing that modular organization underpins the evolutionary conservation of the transcriptome structure. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Genes Important for Schizosaccharomyces pombe Meiosis Identified Through a Functional Genomics Screen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blyth, Julie; Makrantoni, Vasso; Barton, Rachael E.; Spanos, Christos; Rappsilber, Juri; Marston, Adele L.

    2018-01-01

    Meiosis is a specialized cell division that generates gametes, such as eggs and sperm. Errors in meiosis result in miscarriages and are the leading cause of birth defects; however, the molecular origins of these defects remain unknown. Studies in model organisms are beginning to identify the genes and pathways important for meiosis, but the parts list is still poorly defined. Here we present a comprehensive catalog of genes important for meiosis in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Our genome-wide functional screen surveyed all nonessential genes for roles in chromosome segregation and spore formation. Novel genes important at distinct stages of the meiotic chromosome segregation and differentiation program were identified. Preliminary characterization implicated three of these genes in centrosome/spindle pole body, centromere, and cohesion function. Our findings represent a near-complete parts list of genes important for meiosis in fission yeast, providing a valuable resource to advance our molecular understanding of meiosis. PMID:29259000

  7. Neurodegenerative disease mutations in TREM2 reveal a functional surface and distinct loss-of-function mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kober, Daniel L.; Alexander-Brett, Jennifer M.; Karch, Celeste M.; Cruchaga, Carlos; Colonna, Marco; Holtzman, Michael J.; Brett, Thomas J. (WU-MED)

    2016-12-20

    Genetic variations in the myeloid immune receptor TREM2 are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. To determine how TREM2 variants contribute to these diseases, we performed structural and functional studies of wild-type and variant proteins. Our 3.1 Å TREM2 crystal structure revealed that mutations found in Nasu-Hakola disease are buried whereas Alzheimer’s disease risk variants are found on the surface, suggesting that these mutations have distinct effects on TREM2 function. Biophysical and cellular methods indicate that Nasu-Hakola mutations impact protein stability and decrease folded TREM2 surface expression, whereas Alzheimer’s risk variants impact binding to a TREM2 ligand. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s risk variants appear to epitope map a functional surface on TREM2 that is unique within the larger TREM family. These findings provide a guide to structural and functional differences among genetic variants of TREM2, indicating that therapies targeting the TREM2 pathway should be tailored to these genetic and functional differences with patient-specific medicine approaches for neurodegenerative disorders.

  8. Optimizing health system response to patient's needs: an argument for the importance of functioning information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopfe, Maren; Prodinger, Birgit; Bickenbach, Jerome E; Stucki, Gerold

    2017-06-06

    Current health systems are increasingly challenged to meet the needs of a growing number of patients living with chronic and often multiple health conditions. The primary outcome of care, it is argued, is not merely curing disease but also optimizing functioning over a person's life span. According to the World Health Organization, functioning can serve as foundation for a comprehensive picture of health and augment the biomedical perspective with a broader and more comprehensive picture of health as it plays out in people's lives. The crucial importance of information about patient's functioning for a well-performing health system, however, has yet to be sufficiently appreciated. This paper argues that functioning information is fundamental in all components of health systems and enhances the capacity of health systems to optimize patients' health and health-related needs. Beyond making sense of biomedical disease patterns, health systems can profit from using functioning information to improve interprofessional collaboration and achieve cross-cutting disease treatment outcomes. Implications for rehabilitation Functioning is a key health outcome for rehabilitation within health systems. Information on restoring, maintaining, and optimizing human functioning can strengthen health system response to patients' health and rehabilitative needs. Functioning information guides health systems to achieve cross-cutting health outcomes that respond to the needs of the growing number of individuals living with chronic and multiple health conditions. Accounting for individuals functioning helps to overcome fragmentation of care and to improve interprofessional collaboration across settings.

  9. Evolutionary analysis reveals regulatory and functional landscape of coding and non-coding RNA editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rui; Deng, Patricia; Jacobson, Dionna; Li, Jin Billy

    2017-02-01

    Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing diversifies the transcriptome and promotes functional diversity, particularly in the brain. A plethora of editing sites has been recently identified; however, how they are selected and regulated and which are functionally important are largely unknown. Here we show the cis-regulation and stepwise selection of RNA editing during Drosophila evolution and pinpoint a large number of functional editing sites. We found that the establishment of editing and variation in editing levels across Drosophila species are largely explained and predicted by cis-regulatory elements. Furthermore, editing events that arose early in the species tree tend to be more highly edited in clusters and enriched in slowly-evolved neuronal genes, thus suggesting that the main role of RNA editing is for fine-tuning neurological functions. While nonsynonymous editing events have been long recognized as playing a functional role, in addition to nonsynonymous editing sites, a large fraction of 3'UTR editing sites is evolutionarily constrained, highly edited, and thus likely functional. We find that these 3'UTR editing events can alter mRNA stability and affect miRNA binding and thus highlight the functional roles of noncoding RNA editing. Our work, through evolutionary analyses of RNA editing in Drosophila, uncovers novel insights of RNA editing regulation as well as its functions in both coding and non-coding regions.

  10. Single amino acid substitution in important hemoglobinopathies does not disturb molecular function and biological process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Viroj WiwanitkitDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, ThailandAbstract: Hemoglobin is an important protein found in the red cells of many animals. In humans, the hemoglobin is mainly distributed in the red blood cell. Single amino acid substitution is the main pathogenesis of most hemoglobin disorders. Here, the author used a new gene ontology technology to predict the molecular function and biological process of four important hemoglobin disorders with single substitution. The four studied important abnormal hemoglobins (Hb with single substitution included Hb S, Hb E, Hb C, and Hb J-Baltimore. Using the GoFigure server, the molecular function and biological process in normal and abnormal hemoglobins was predicted. Compared with normal hemoglobin, all studied abnormal hemoglobins had the same function and biological process. This indicated that the overall function of oxygen transportation is not disturbed in the studied hemoglobin disorders. Clinical findings of oxygen depletion in abnormal hemoglobin should therefore be due to the other processes rather than genomics, proteomics, and expression levels.Keywords: hemoglobin, amino acid, substitution, function

  11. Importance of circulating IGF-1 for normal cardiac morphology, function and post infarction remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharin Täng, M; Redfors, B; Lindbom, M; Svensson, J; Ramunddal, T; Ohlsson, C; Shao, Y; Omerovic, E

    2012-12-01

    IGF-1 plays an important role in cardiovascular homeostasis, and plasma levels of IGF-1 correlate inversely with systolic function in heart failure. It is not known to what extent circulating IGF-1 secreted by the liver and local autocrine/paracrine IGF-1 expressed in the myocardium contribute to these beneficial effects on cardiac function and morphology. In the present study, we used a mouse model of liver-specific inducible deletion of the IGF-1 gene (LI-IGF-1 -/- mouse) in an attempt to evaluate the importance of circulating IGF-I on cardiac morphology and function under normal and pathological conditions, with an emphasis on its regulatory role in myocardial phosphocreatine metabolism. Echocardiography was performed in LI-IGF-1 -/- and control mice at rest and during dobutamine stress, both at baseline and post myocardial infarction (MI). High-energy phosphate metabolites were compared between LI-IGF-1 -/- and control mice at 4 weeks post MI. We found that LI-IGF-1 -/- mice had significantly greater left ventricular dimensions at baseline and showed a greater relative increase in cardiac dimensions, as well as deterioration of cardiac function, post MI. Myocardial creatine content was 17.9% lower in LI-IGF-1 -/- mice, whereas there was no detectable difference in high-energy nucleotides. These findings indicate an important role of circulating IGF-1 in preserving cardiac structure and function both in physiological settings and post MI. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17002.001 PMID:27612384

  13. A recursive Monte Carlo method for estimating importance functions in deep penetration problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, M.

    1980-04-01

    A pratical recursive Monte Carlo method for estimating the importance function distribution, aimed at importance sampling for the solution of deep penetration problems in three-dimensional systems, was developed. The efficiency of the recursive method was investigated for sample problems including one- and two-dimensional, monoenergetic and and multigroup problems, as well as for a practical deep-penetration problem with streaming. The results of the recursive Monte Carlo calculations agree fairly well with Ssub(n) results. It is concluded that the recursive Monte Carlo method promises to become a universal method for estimating the importance function distribution for the solution of deep-penetration problems, in all kinds of systems: for many systems the recursive method is likely to be more efficient than previously existing methods; for three-dimensional systems it is the first method that can estimate the importance function with the accuracy required for an efficient solution based on importance sampling of neutron deep-penetration problems in those systems

  14. Experimental Analysis of Mimivirus Translation Initiation Factor 4a Reveals Its Importance in Viral Protein Translation during Infection of Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekliz, Meriem; Azza, Said; Seligmann, Hervé; Decloquement, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2018-05-15

    The Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is the first giant virus ever described, with a 1.2-Mb genome which encodes 979 proteins, including central components of the translation apparatus. One of these proteins, R458, was predicted to initiate translation, although its specific role remains unknown. We silenced the R458 gene using small interfering RNA (siRNA) and compared levels of viral fitness and protein expression in silenced versus wild-type mimivirus. Silencing decreased the growth rate, but viral particle production at the end of the viral cycle was unaffected. A comparative proteomic approach using two-dimensional difference-in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) revealed deregulation of the expression of 32 proteins in silenced mimivirus, which were defined as up- or downregulated. Besides revealing proteins with unknown functions, silencing R458 also revealed deregulation in proteins associated with viral particle structures, transcriptional machinery, oxidative pathways, modification of proteins/lipids, and DNA topology/repair. Most of these proteins belong to genes transcribed at the end of the viral cycle. Overall, our data suggest that the R458 protein regulates the expression of mimivirus proteins and, thus, that mimivirus translational proteins may not be strictly redundant in relation to those from the amoeba host. As is the case for eukaryotic initiation factor 4a (eIF4a), the R458 protein is the prototypical member of the ATP-dependent DEAD box RNA helicase mechanism. We suggest that the R458 protein is required to unwind the secondary structures at the 5' ends of mRNAs and to bind the mRNA to the ribosome, making it possible to scan for the start codon. These data are the first experimental evidence of mimivirus translation-related genes, predicted to initiate protein biosynthesis. IMPORTANCE The presence in the genome of a mimivirus of genes coding for many translational processes, with the exception of ribosome constituents, has been the subject of

  15. Functional analysis of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCS1 reveals independent functions for cholesterol and isoprenoids in craniofacial development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita M Quintana

    Full Text Available There are 8 different human syndromes caused by mutations in the cholesterol synthesis pathway. A subset of these disorders such as Smith-Lemli-Opitz disorder, are associated with facial dysmorphia. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying such facial deficits are not fully understood, primarily because of the diverse functions associated with the cholesterol synthesis pathway. Recent evidence has demonstrated that mutation of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCR results in orofacial clefts. Here we sought to expand upon these data, by deciphering the cholesterol dependent functions of the cholesterol synthesis pathway from the cholesterol independent functions. Moreover, we utilized loss of function analysis and pharmacological inhibition to determine the extent of sonic hedgehog (Shh signaling in animals with aberrant cholesterol and/or isoprenoid synthesis. Our analysis confirmed that mutation of hmgcs1, which encodes the first enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway, results in craniofacial abnormalities via defects in cranial neural crest cell differentiation. Furthermore targeted pharmacological inhibition of the cholesterol synthesis pathway revealed a novel function for isoprenoid synthesis during vertebrate craniofacial development. Mutation of hmgcs1 had no effect on Shh signaling at 2 and 3 days post fertilization (dpf, but did result in a decrease in the expression of gli1, a known Shh target gene, at 4 dpf, after morphological deficits in craniofacial development and chondrocyte differentiation were observed in hmgcs1 mutants. These data raise the possibility that deficiencies in cholesterol modulate chondrocyte differentiation by a combination of Shh independent and Shh dependent mechanisms. Moreover, our results describe a novel function for isoprenoids in facial development and collectively suggest that cholesterol regulates craniofacial development through versatile mechanisms.

  16. Estimation of functional failure probability of passive systems based on adaptive importance sampling method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Baosheng; Wang Dongqing; Zhang Jianmin; Jiang Jing

    2012-01-01

    In order to estimate the functional failure probability of passive systems, an innovative adaptive importance sampling methodology is presented. In the proposed methodology, information of variables is extracted with some pre-sampling of points in the failure region. An important sampling density is then constructed from the sample distribution in the failure region. Taking the AP1000 passive residual heat removal system as an example, the uncertainties related to the model of a passive system and the numerical values of its input parameters are considered in this paper. And then the probability of functional failure is estimated with the combination of the response surface method and adaptive importance sampling method. The numerical results demonstrate the high computed efficiency and excellent computed accuracy of the methodology compared with traditional probability analysis methods. (authors)

  17. Perceived stress and cognitive function in older adults: which aspect of perceived stress is important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korten, Nicole C M; Comijs, Hannie C; Penninx, Brenda W J H; Deeg, Dorly J H

    2017-04-01

    Few studies examined the association between perceived stress and cognitive function in older adults. This study will examine which aspects of perceived stress especially impact cognitive function. Cross-sectional data of 1099 older adults between 64 and 100 years from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used. Perceived stress and its subscales perceived helplessness and perceived self-efficacy were measured with the Perceived Stress Scale. Cognitive function was assessed regarding memory, processing speed and executive function. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed between the stress measures and the domains of cognitive function. Perceived stress was associated with worse processing speed, direct and delayed recall, semantic fluency and digit span backwards (range β = -0.10; -0.11; p cognitive function, also after adjustment for depressive symptoms or sense of mastery (range β = 0.10; 0.18; p cognitive functions. Perceived self-efficacy might be an important factor in reducing stress and the prevention of cognitive decline. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Revealing the appetite of the marine aquarium fish trade: the volume and biodiversity of fish imported into the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhyne, Andrew L.; Tlusty, Michael F.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Kaufman, Les; Morris, James A.; Bruckner, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    The aquarium trade and other wildlife consumers are at a crossroads forced by threats from global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that have weakened coastal ecosystems. While the wildlife trade may put additional stress on coral reefs, it brings income into impoverished parts of the world and may stimulate interest in marine conservation. To better understand the influence of the trade, we must first be able to quantify coral reef fauna moving through it. Herein, we discuss the lack of a data system for monitoring the wildlife aquarium trade and analyze problems that arise when trying to monitor the trade using a system not specifically designed for this purpose. To do this, we examined an entire year of import records of marine tropical fish entering the United States in detail, and discuss the relationship between trade volume, biodiversity and introduction of non-native marine fishes. Our analyses showed that biodiversity levels are higher than previous estimates. Additionally, more than half of government importation forms have numerical or other reporting discrepancies resulting in the overestimation of trade volumes by 27%. While some commonly imported species have been introduced into the coastal waters of the USA (as expected), we also found that some uncommon species in the trade have also been introduced. This is the first study of aquarium trade imports to compare commercial invoices to government forms and provides a means to, routinely and in real time, examine the biodiversity of the trade in coral reef wildlife species.

  19. Spectral Data Captures Important Variability Between and Among Species and Functional Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, P. A.; Serbin, S. P.; Kingdon, C.; Singh, A.; Couture, J. J.; Gamon, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Narrowband spectral data in the visible, near and shortwave infrared (400-2500 nm) are being used increasingly in plant ecology to characterize the biochemical, physiological and water status of vegetation, as well as community composition. In particular, spectroscopic data have recently received considerable attention for their capacity to discriminate plants according to functional properties or 'optical types.' Such measurements can be acquired from airborne/satellite remote sensing imagery or field spectrometers and are commonly used to directly estimate or infer properties important to photosynthesis, carbon and water fluxes, nutrient dynamics, phenology, and disturbance. Spectral data therefore represent proxies for measurements that are otherwise time consuming or expensive to make, and - more importantly - provide the opportunity to characterize the spatial and temporal variability of taxonomic or functional groups. We have found that spectral variation within species and functional types can in fact exceed the variation between types. As such, we recommend that the traditional quantification of characteristics defining species and/or functional types must be modified to include the range of variability in those properties. We provide four examples of the importance of spectral data for describing within-species/functional type variation. First, within temperate forests, the spectral properties of foliage vary considerably with canopy position. This variability is strongly related to differences in specific leaf area between shade- and sun-lit leaves, and the resulting differences among leaves in strategies for light harvesting, photosynthesis, and leaf longevity. These results point to the need to better characterize leaf optical properties throughout a canopy, rather than basing the characterization of ecosystem functioning on only the sunlit portion of the canopy crown. Second, we show considerable differences in optical properties of foliage from

  20. Separable roles of UFO during floral development revealed by conditional restoration of gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laufs, Patrick; Coen, Enrico; Kronenberger, Jocelyne; Traas, Jan; Doonan, John

    2003-02-01

    The UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) gene is required for several aspects of floral development in Arabidopsis including specification of organ identity in the second and third whorls and the proper pattern of primordium initiation in the inner three whorls. UFO is expressed in a dynamic pattern during the early phases of flower development. Here we dissect the role of UFO by ubiquitously expressing it in ufo loss-of-function flowers at different developmental stages and for various durations using an ethanol-inducible expression system. The previously known functions of UFO could be separated and related to its expression at specific stages of development. We show that a 24- to 48-hour period of UFO expression from floral stage 2, before any floral organs are visible, is sufficient to restore normal petal and stamen development. The earliest requirement for UFO is during stage 2, when the endogenous UFO gene is transiently expressed in the centre of the wild-type flower and is required to specify the initiation patterns of petal, stamen and carpel primordia. Petal and stamen identity is determined during stages 2 or 3, when UFO is normally expressed in the presumptive second and third whorl. Although endogenous UFO expression is absent from the stamen whorl from stage 4 onwards, stamen identity can be restored by UFO activation up to stage 6. We also observed floral phenotypes not observed in loss-of-function or constitutive gain-of-function backgrounds, revealing additional roles of UFO in outgrowth of petal primordia.

  1. The phosphoproteome of Aspergillus nidulans reveals functional association with cellular processes involved in morphology and secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsubramaniam, Nikhil; Harris, Steven D; Marten, Mark R

    2014-11-01

    We describe the first phosphoproteome of the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Phosphopeptides were enriched using titanium dioxide, separated using a convenient ultra-long reverse phase gradient, and identified using a "high-high" strategy (high mass accuracy on the parent and fragment ions) with higher-energy collisional dissociation. Using this approach 1801 phosphosites, from 1637 unique phosphopeptides, were identified. Functional classification revealed phosphoproteins were overrepresented under GO categories related to fungal morphogenesis: "sites of polar growth," "vesicle mediated transport," and "cytoskeleton organization." In these same GO categories, kinase-substrate analysis of phosphoproteins revealed the majority were target substrates of CDK and CK2 kinase families, indicating these kinase families play a prominent role in fungal morphogenesis. Kinase-substrate analysis also identified 57 substrates for kinases known to regulate secretion of hydrolytic enzymes (e.g. PkaA, SchA, and An-Snf1). Altogether this data will serve as a benchmark that can be used to elucidate regulatory networks functionally associated with fungal morphogenesis and secretion. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000715 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD000715). © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Cyclosporin A treatment of Leishmania donovani reveals stage-specific functions of cyclophilins in parasite proliferation and viability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai-Lok Yau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cyclosporin A (CsA has important anti-microbial activity against parasites of the genus Leishmania, suggesting CsA-binding cyclophilins (CyPs as potential drug targets. However, no information is available on the genetic diversity of this important protein family, and the mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effects of CsA on intracellular amastigotes are only poorly understood. Here, we performed a first genome-wide analysis of Leishmania CyPs and investigated the effects of CsA on host-free L. donovani amastigotes in order to elucidate the relevance of these parasite proteins for drug development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multiple sequence alignment and cluster analysis identified 17 Leishmania CyPs with significant sequence differences to human CyPs, but with highly conserved functional residues implicated in PPIase function and CsA binding. CsA treatment of promastigotes resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth with an IC50 between 15 and 20 microM as demonstrated by proliferation assay and cell cycle analysis. Scanning electron microscopy revealed striking morphological changes in CsA treated promastigotes reminiscent to developing amastigotes, suggesting a role for parasite CyPs in Leishmania differentiation. In contrast to promastigotes, CsA was highly toxic to amastigotes with an IC50 between 5 and 10 microM, revealing for the first time a direct lethal effect of CsA on the pathogenic mammalian stage linked to parasite thermotolerance, independent from host CyPs. Structural modeling, enrichment of CsA-binding proteins from parasite extracts by FPLC, and PPIase activity assays revealed direct interaction of the inhibitor with LmaCyP40, a bifunctional cyclophilin with potential co-chaperone function. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The evolutionary expansion of the Leishmania CyP protein family and the toxicity of CsA on host-free amastigotes suggest important roles of PPIases in parasite biology and implicate

  3. Novel functional view of the crocidolite asbestos-treated A549 human lung epithelial transcriptome reveals an intricate network of pathways with opposing functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevens John R

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although exposure to asbestos is now regulated, patients continue to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, fibrosis and lung carcinoma because of the long latent period between exposure and clinical disease. Asbestosis is observed in approximately 200,000 patients annually and asbestos-related deaths are estimated at 4,000 annually1. Although advances have been made using single gene/gene product or pathway studies, the complexity of the response to asbestos and the many unanswered questions suggested the need for a systems biology approach. The objective of this study was to generate a comprehensive view of the transcriptional changes induced by crocidolite asbestos in A549 human lung epithelial cells. Results A statistically robust, comprehensive data set documenting the crocidolite-induced changes in the A549 transcriptome was collected. A systems biology approach involving global observations from gene ontological analyses coupled with functional network analyses was used to explore the effects of crocidolite in the context of known molecular interactions. The analyses uniquely document a transcriptome with function-based networks in cell death, cancer, cell cycle, cellular growth, proliferation, and gene expression. These functional modules show signs of a complex interplay between signaling pathways consisting of both novel and previously described asbestos-related genes/gene products. These networks allowed for the identification of novel, putative crocidolite-related genes, leading to several new hypotheses regarding genes that are important for the asbestos response. The global analysis revealed a transcriptome that bears signatures of both apoptosis/cell death and cell survival/proliferation. Conclusion Our analyses demonstrate the power of combining a statistically robust, comprehensive dataset and a functional network genomics approach to 1 identify and explore relationships between genes of known importance

  4. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  5. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Matthew P; Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-11-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  6. Increased Range of Motion Is Important for Functional Outcome and Satisfaction After Total Knee Arthroplasty in Asian Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Chul-Won; Park, Yong-Beom; Song, Young-Suk; Kim, Jun-Ho; Park, Yong-Geun

    2016-06-01

    Although range of motion (ROM) is considered as an important factor for good outcome after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), the association of the degree of ROM with functional outcome and patient satisfaction is debated. We, therefore, investigated whether increased ROM would affect functional outcome and patient satisfaction after TKA in Asian patients. We reviewed 630 patients who underwent primary TKA with minimum 2-year follow-up. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by Knee Society (KS) score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index, and high-flexion knee score. Patient satisfaction was evaluated using a validated questionnaire. The association of ROM and change in ROM (cROM) with clinical outcomes and satisfaction were analyzed using partial correlation analysis and multiple median regression analysis. All functional scores showed significant correlation with postoperative ROM (r = 0.129, P = .001 in Knee Society score; r = -0.101, P = .012 in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index; r = 0.183, P satisfaction (r = 0.192, P = .005). Postoperative ROM and cROM were revealed as predisposing factors affecting function outcome using multivariable regression analysis. cROM was found as a predisposing factor affecting satisfaction. Based on the results of this study, ROM positively associated with functional outcome and cROM positively associated with patient satisfaction after TKA. These findings suggest that increased ROM after TKA is an important factor for functional outcome and satisfaction in Asian patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Network succession reveals the importance of competition in response to emulsified vegetable oil amendment for uranium bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Ye; Zhang, Ping; Qin, Yujia; Tu, Qichao; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Discerning network interactions among different species/populations in microbial communities has evoked substantial interests in recent years, but little information is available about temporal dynamics of microbial network interactions in response to environmental perturbations. Here, we modified the random matrix theory-based network approach to discern network succession in groundwater microbial communities in response to emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) amendment for uranium bioremediation. Groundwater microbial communities from one control and seven monitor wells were analysed with a functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0), and functional molecular ecological networks (fMENs) at different time points were reconstructed. Our results showed that the network interactions were dramatically altered by EVO amendment. Dynamic and resilient succession was evident: fairly simple at the initial stage (Day 0), increasingly complex at the middle period (Days 4, 17, 31), most complex at Day 80, and then decreasingly complex at a later stage (140-269 days). Unlike previous studies in other habitats, negative interactions predominated in a time-series fMEN, suggesting strong competition among different microbial species in the groundwater systems after EVO injection. Particularly, several keystone sulfate-reducing bacteria showed strong negative interactions with their network neighbours. These results provide mechanistic understanding of the decreased phylogenetic diversity during environmental perturbations. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Breakdown of the Arrhenius Law in Describing Vacancy Formation Energies: The Importance of Local Anharmonicity Revealed by Ab initio Thermodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Glensk

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available We study the temperature dependence of the Gibbs energy of vacancy formation in Al and Cu from T=0  K up to the melting temperature, fully taking into account anharmonic contributions. Our results show that the formation entropy of vacancies is not constant as often assumed but increases almost linearly with temperature. The resulting highly nonlinear temperature dependence in the Gibbs formation energy naturally explains the differences between positron annihilation spectroscopy and differential dilatometry data and shows that nonlinear thermal corrections are crucial to extrapolate high-temperature experimental data to T=0  K. Employing these corrections—rather than the linear Arrhenius extrapolation that is commonly assumed in analyzing experimental data—revised formation enthalpies are obtained that differ up to 20% from the previously accepted ones. Using the revised experimental formation enthalpies, we show that a large part of the discrepancies between DFT-GGA and unrevised experimental vacancy formation energies disappears. The substantial shift between previously accepted and the newly revised T=0  K formation enthalpies also has severe consequences in benchmarking ab initio methods against experiments, e.g., in deriving corrections that go beyond commonly used LDA and GGA exchange-correlation functionals such as the AM05 functional.

  9. Outer membrane protein functions as integrator of protein import and DNA inheritance in mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käser, Sandro; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Týč, Jiří; Vaughan, Sue; Warscheid, Bettina; Schneider, André

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosomatids are one of the earliest diverging eukaryotes that have fully functional mitochondria. pATOM36 is a trypanosomatid-specific essential mitochondrial outer membrane protein that has been implicated in protein import. Changes in the mitochondrial proteome induced by ablation of pATOM36 and in vitro assays show that pATOM36 is required for the assembly of the archaic translocase of the outer membrane (ATOM), the functional analog of the TOM complex in other organisms. Reciprocal pull-down experiments and immunofluorescence analyses demonstrate that a fraction of pATOM36 interacts and colocalizes with TAC65, a previously uncharacterized essential component of the tripartite attachment complex (TAC). The TAC links the single-unit mitochondrial genome to the basal body of the flagellum and mediates the segregation of the replicated mitochondrial genomes. RNAi experiments show that pATOM36, in line with its dual localization, is not only essential for ATOM complex assembly but also for segregation of the replicated mitochondrial genomes. However, the two functions are distinct, as a truncated version of pATOM36 lacking the 75 C-terminal amino acids can rescue kinetoplast DNA missegregation but not the lack of ATOM complex assembly. Thus, pATOM36 has a dual function and integrates mitochondrial protein import with mitochondrial DNA inheritance. PMID:27436903

  10. Complement factor 5a receptor chimeras reveal the importance of lipid-facing residues in transport competence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klco, Jeffery M; Sen, Saurabh; Hansen, Jakob L

    2009-01-01

    . Despite relatively conservative substitutions, the lipid-facing chimeras (TM1, TM2, TM4, TM5, TM6 or TM7) were retained in the endoplasmic reticulum/cis-Golgi network. With the exception of the TM7 chimera that did not bind ligand, the lipid-facing chimeras bound ligand with low affinity, but similar...... oligomerization studies demonstrated energy transfer between the wild-type complement factor 5a receptor and the lipid-facing chimeras, suggesting that the lipid-facing residues within a single TM segment are not essential for oligomerization. These studies highlight the importance of the lipid-facing residues...

  11. The importance of hydrology in restoration of bottomland hardwood wetland functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, R.G.; Faulkner, S.P.; Gibson, K.A.

    2008-01-01

    Bottomland hardwood (BLH) forests have important biogeochemical functions and it is well known that certain structural components, including pulsed hydrology, hydric soils, and hydrophytic vegetation, enhance these functions. It is unclear, however, how functions of restored BLH wetlands compare to mature, undisturbed wetlands. We measured a suite of structural and functional attributes in replicated natural BLH wetlands (NAT), restored BLH wetlands with hydrology re-established (RWH), and restored BLH wetlands without hydrology re-established (RWOH) in this study. Trees were replanted in all restored wetlands at least four years prior to the study and those wetlands with hydrology re-established had flashboard risers placed in drainage ditches to allow seasonal surface flooding. Vegetation, soils, and selected biogeochemical functions were characterized at each site. There was a marked difference in woody vegetation among the wetlands that was due primarily to site age. There was also a difference in herbaceous vegetation among the restored sites that may have been related to differences in age or hydrology. Water table fluctuations of the RWH wetlands were comparable to those of the NAT wetlands. Thus, placing flashboard risers in existing drainage ditches, along with proper management, can produce a hydroperiod that is similar to that of a relatively undisturbed BLH. Average length of saturation within the upper 15 cm of soils was 37, 104, and 97 days for RWOH, RWH, and NAT, respectively. Soil moisture, denitrification potential, and soluble organic carbon concentrations differed among wetland sites, but soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, heterotrophic microbial activity, and readily mineralizable carbon concentrations did not. Significant linear relationships were also found between soil moisture and heterotrophic microbial activity, readily mineralizable carbon, and soluble organic carbon. In addition, sedimentation rates were higher in NAT and RWH

  12. Replicated landscape genetic and network analyses reveal wide variation in functional connectivity for American pikas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Jessica A; Epps, Clinton W; Jeffress, Mackenzie R; Ray, Chris; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Schwalm, Donelle

    2016-09-01

    Landscape connectivity is essential for maintaining viable populations, particularly for species restricted to fragmented habitats or naturally arrayed in metapopulations and facing rapid climate change. The importance of assessing both structural connectivity (physical distribution of favorable habitat patches) and functional connectivity (how species move among habitat patches) for managing such species is well understood. However, the degree to which functional connectivity for a species varies among landscapes, and the resulting implications for conservation, have rarely been assessed. We used a landscape genetics approach to evaluate resistance to gene flow and, thus, to determine how landscape and climate-related variables influence gene flow for American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in eight federally managed sites in the western United States. We used empirically derived, individual-based landscape resistance models in conjunction with predictive occupancy models to generate patch-based network models describing functional landscape connectivity. Metareplication across landscapes enabled identification of limiting factors for dispersal that would not otherwise have been apparent. Despite the cool microclimates characteristic of pika habitat, south-facing aspects consistently represented higher resistance to movement, supporting the previous hypothesis that exposure to relatively high temperatures may limit dispersal in American pikas. We found that other barriers to dispersal included areas with a high degree of topographic relief, such as cliffs and ravines, as well as streams and distances greater than 1-4 km depending on the site. Using the empirically derived network models of habitat patch connectivity, we identified habitat patches that were likely disproportionately important for maintaining functional connectivity, areas in which habitat appeared fragmented, and locations that could be targeted for management actions to improve functional connectivity

  13. Genome-wide analysis reveals signatures of selection for important traits in domestic sheep from different ecoregions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhaohua; Ji, Zhibin; Wang, Guizhi; Chao, Tianle; Hou, Lei; Wang, Jianmin

    2016-11-03

    Throughout a long period of adaptation and selection, sheep have thrived in a diverse range of ecological environments. Mongolian sheep is the common ancestor of the Chinese short fat-tailed sheep. Migration to different ecoregions leads to changes in selection pressures and results in microevolution. Mongolian sheep and its subspecies differ in a number of important traits, especially reproductive traits. Genome-wide intraspecific variation is required to dissect the genetic basis of these traits. This research resequenced 3 short fat-tailed sheep breeds with a 43.2-fold coverage of the sheep genome. We report more than 17 million single nucleotide polymorphisms and 2.9 million indels and identify 143 genomic regions with reduced pooled heterozygosity or increased genetic distance to each other breed that represent likely targets for selection during the migration. These regions harbor genes related to developmental processes, cellular processes, multicellular organismal processes, biological regulation, metabolic processes, reproduction, localization, growth and various components of the stress responses. Furthermore, we examined the haplotype diversity of 3 genomic regions involved in reproduction and found significant differences in TSHR and PRL gene regions among 8 sheep breeds. Our results provide useful genomic information for identifying genes or causal mutations associated with important economic traits in sheep and for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different ecological environments.

  14. A high performance Trichoderma reesei strain that reveals the importance of xylanase III in cellulosic biomass conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Hikaru; Kawai, Tetsushi; Ida, Noriko; Shida, Yosuke; Shioya, Kouki; Kobayashi, Yoshinori; Okada, Hirofumi; Tani, Shuji; Sumitani, Jun-Ichi; Kawaguchi, Takashi; Morikawa, Yasushi; Ogasawara, Wataru

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the Trichoderma reesei X3AB1strain enzyme preparations to convert cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars is enhanced by the replacement of xyn3 by Aspergillus aculeatus β-glucosidase 1 gene (aabg1), as shown in our previous study. However, subsequent experiments using T. reesei extracts supplemented with the glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 10 xylanase III (XYN III) and GH Family 11 XYN II showed increased conversion of alkaline treated cellulosic biomass, which is rich in xylan, underscoring the importance of XYN III. To attain optimal saccharifying potential in T. reesei, we constructed two new strains, C1AB1 and E1AB1, in which aabg1 was expressed heterologously by means of the cbh1 or egl1 promoters, respectively, so that the endogenous XYN III synthesis remained intact. Due to the presence of wild-type xyn3 in T. reesei E1AB1, enzymes prepared from this strain were 20-30% more effective in the saccharification of alkaline-pretreated rice straw than enzyme extracts from X3AB1, and also outperformed recent commercial cellulase preparations. Our results demonstrate the importance of XYN III in the conversion of alkaline-pretreated cellulosic biomass by T. reesei. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The importance of biological factors affecting trace metal concentration as revealed from accumulation patterns in co-occurring terrestrial invertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hendrickx, Frederik; Maelfait, Jean-Pierre; Bogaert, Nicolas; Tojal, Catarina; Du Laing, Gijs; Tack, Filip M.G.; Verloo, Marc G

    2004-02-01

    As physicochemical properties of the soil highly influence the bioavailable fraction of a particular trace metal, measured metal body burdens in a particular species are often assumed to be more reliable estimators of the contamination of the biota. To test this we compared the Cd, Cu and Zn content of three spiders (generalist predators) and two amphipods (detritivores), co-occurring in seven tidal marshes along the river Schelde, between each other and with the total metal concentrations and the concentrations of four sequential extractions of the soils. Correlations were significant in only one case and significant sitexspecies interactions for all metals demonstrate that factors affecting metal concentration were species and site specific and not solely determined by site specific characteristics. These results emphasize that site and species specific biological factors might be of the utmost importance in determining the contamination of the biota, at least for higher trophic levels. A hypothetical example clarifies these findings. - Site and species specific biological factors are important in determining contamination of biota.

  16. Exercise reveals impairments in left ventricular systolic function in patients with metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Sara B; Reger, Brian L; Donley, David A; Bonner, Daniel E; Warden, Bradford E; Gharib, Wissam; Failinger, Conard F; Olfert, Melissa D; Frisbee, Jefferson C; Olfert, I Mark; Chantler, Paul D

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is the manifestation of a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors and is associated with a threefold increase in the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, which is suggested to be mediated, in part, by resting left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction. However, to what extent resting LV systolic function is impaired in MetS is controversial, and there are no data indicating whether LV systolic function is impaired during exercise. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to examine comprehensively the LV and arterial responses to exercise in individuals with MetS without diabetes and/or overt cardiovascular disease in comparison to a healthy control population. Cardiovascular function was characterized using Doppler echocardiography and gas exchange in individuals with MetS (n = 27) versus healthy control subjects (n = 20) at rest and during peak exercise. At rest, individuals with MetS displayed normal LV systolic function but reduced LV diastolic function compared with healthy control subjects. During peak exercise, individuals with MetS had impaired contractility, pump performance and vasodilator reserve capacity versus control subjects. A blunted contractile reserve response resulted in diminished arterial-ventricular coupling reserve and limited aerobic capacity in individuals with MetS versus control subjects. These findings are of clinical importance, because they provide insight into the pathophysiological changes in MetS that may predispose this population of individuals to an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

  17. Metabolomics analysis reveals the metabolic and functional roles of flavonoids in light-sensitive tea leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qunfeng; Liu, Meiya; Ruan, Jianyun

    2017-03-20

    As the predominant secondary metabolic pathway in tea plants, flavonoid biosynthesis increases with increasing temperature and illumination. However, the concentration of most flavonoids decreases greatly in light-sensitive tea leaves when they are exposed to light, which further improves tea quality. To reveal the metabolism and potential functions of flavonoids in tea leaves, a natural light-sensitive tea mutant (Huangjinya) cultivated under different light conditions was subjected to metabolomics analysis. The results showed that chlorotic tea leaves accumulated large amounts of flavonoids with ortho-dihydroxylated B-rings (e.g., catechin gallate, quercetin and its glycosides etc.), whereas total flavonoids (e.g., myricetrin glycoside, epigallocatechin gallate etc.) were considerably reduced, suggesting that the flavonoid components generated from different metabolic branches played different roles in tea leaves. Furthermore, the intracellular localization of flavonoids and the expression pattern of genes involved in secondary metabolic pathways indicate a potential photoprotective function of dihydroxylated flavonoids in light-sensitive tea leaves. Our results suggest that reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging and the antioxidation effects of flavonoids help chlorotic tea plants survive under high light stress, providing new evidence to clarify the functional roles of flavonoids, which accumulate to high levels in tea plants. Moreover, flavonoids with ortho-dihydroxylated B-rings played a greater role in photo-protection to improve the acclimatization of tea plants.

  18. Comparative expression profiling reveals gene functions in female meiosis and gametophyte development in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lihua; He, Jiangman; Cai, Hanyang; Lin, Haiyan; Li, Yanqiang; Liu, Renyi; Yang, Zhenbiao; Qin, Yuan

    2014-11-01

    Megasporogenesis is essential for female fertility, and requires the accomplishment of meiosis and the formation of functional megaspores. The inaccessibility and low abundance of female meiocytes make it particularly difficult to elucidate the molecular basis underlying megasporogenesis. We used high-throughput tag-sequencing analysis to identify genes expressed in female meiocytes (FMs) by comparing gene expression profiles from wild-type ovules undergoing megasporogenesis with those from the spl mutant ovules, which lack megasporogenesis. A total of 862 genes were identified as FMs, with levels that are consistently reduced in spl ovules in two biological replicates. Fluorescence-assisted cell sorting followed by RNA-seq analysis of DMC1:GFP-labeled female meiocytes confirmed that 90% of the FMs are indeed detected in the female meiocyte protoplast profiling. We performed reverse genetic analysis of 120 candidate genes and identified four FM genes with a function in female meiosis progression in Arabidopsis. We further revealed that KLU, a putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, is involved in chromosome pairing during female meiosis, most likely by affecting the normal expression pattern of DMC1 in ovules during female meiosis. Our studies provide valuable information for functional genomic analyses of plant germline development as well as insights into meiosis. © 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Edge reconstruction in armchair phosphorene nanoribbons revealed by discontinuous Galerkin density functional theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Lin, Lin; Yang, Chao

    2015-12-21

    With the help of our recently developed massively parallel DGDFT (Discontinuous Galerkin Density Functional Theory) methodology, we perform large-scale Kohn-Sham density functional theory calculations on phosphorene nanoribbons with armchair edges (ACPNRs) containing a few thousands to ten thousand atoms. The use of DGDFT allows us to systematically achieve a conventional plane wave basis set type of accuracy, but with a much smaller number (about 15) of adaptive local basis (ALB) functions per atom for this system. The relatively small number of degrees of freedom required to represent the Kohn-Sham Hamiltonian, together with the use of the pole expansion the selected inversion (PEXSI) technique that circumvents the need to diagonalize the Hamiltonian, results in a highly efficient and scalable computational scheme for analyzing the electronic structures of ACPNRs as well as their dynamics. The total wall clock time for calculating the electronic structures of large-scale ACPNRs containing 1080-10,800 atoms is only 10-25 s per self-consistent field (SCF) iteration, with accuracy fully comparable to that obtained from conventional planewave DFT calculations. For the ACPNR system, we observe that the DGDFT methodology can scale to 5000-50,000 processors. We use DGDFT based ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) calculations to study the thermodynamic stability of ACPNRs. Our calculations reveal that a 2 × 1 edge reconstruction appears in ACPNRs at room temperature.

  20. Reliable and rapid characterization of functional FCN2 gene variants reveals diverse geographical patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ojurongbe Olusola

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ficolin-2 coded by FCN2 gene is a soluble serum protein and an innate immune recognition element of the complement system. FCN2 gene polymorphisms reveal distinct geographical patterns and are documented to alter serum ficolin levels and modulate disease susceptibility. Methods We employed a real-time PCR based on Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET method to genotype four functional SNPs including -986 G > A (#rs3124952, -602 G > A (#rs3124953, -4A > G (#rs17514136 and +6424 G > T (#rs7851696 in the ficolin-2 (FCN2 gene. We characterized the FCN2 variants in individuals representing Brazilian (n = 176, Nigerian (n = 180, Vietnamese (n = 172 and European Caucasian ethnicity (n = 165. Results We observed that the genotype distribution of three functional SNP variants (−986 G > A, -602 G > A and -4A > G differ significantly between the populations investigated (p p  Conclusions The observed distribution of the FCN2 functional SNP variants may likely contribute to altered serum ficolin levels and this may depend on the different disease settings in world populations. To conclude, the use of FRET based real-time PCR especially for FCN2 gene will benefit a larger scientific community who extensively depend on rapid, reliable method for FCN2 genotyping.

  1. Analyses in zebrafish embryos reveal that nanotoxicity profiles are dependent on surface-functionalization controlled penetrance of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paatero, Ilkka; Casals, Eudald; Niemi, Rasmus; Özliseli, Ezgi; Rosenholm, Jessica M; Sahlgren, Cecilia

    2017-08-21

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are extensively explored as drug delivery systems, but in depth understanding of design-toxicity relationships is still scarce. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to study toxicity profiles of differently surface functionalized MSNs. Embryos with the chorion membrane intact, or dechoroniated embryos, were incubated or microinjected with amino (NH 2 -MSNs), polyethyleneimine (PEI-MSNs), succinic acid (SUCC-MSNs) or polyethyleneglycol (PEG-MSNs) functionalized MSNs. Toxicity was assessed by viability and cardiovascular function. NH 2 -MSNs, SUCC-MSNs and PEG-MSNs were well tolerated, 50 µg/ml PEI-MSNs induced 100% lethality 48 hours post fertilization (hpf). Dechoroniated embryos were more sensitive and 10 µg/ml PEI-MSNs reduced viability to 5% at 96hpf. Sensitivity to PEG- and SUCC-, but not NH 2 -MSNs, was also enhanced. Typically cardiovascular toxicity was evident prior to lethality. Confocal microscopy revealed that PEI-MSNs penetrated into the embryos whereas PEG-, NH2- and SUCC-MSNs remained aggregated on the skin surface. Direct exposure of inner organs by microinjecting NH 2 -MSNs and PEI-MSNs demonstrated that the particles displayed similar toxicity indicating that functionalization affects the toxicity profile by influencing penetrance through biological barriers. The data emphasize the need for careful analyses of toxicity mechanisms in relevant models and constitute an important knowledge step towards the development of safer and sustainable nanotherapies.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Uncertainty Quantification Reveals the Importance of Data Variability and Experimental Design Considerations for in Silico Proarrhythmia Risk Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly C. Chang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA is a global initiative intended to improve drug proarrhythmia risk assessment using a new paradigm of mechanistic assays. Under the CiPA paradigm, the relative risk of drug-induced Torsade de Pointes (TdP is assessed using an in silico model of the human ventricular action potential (AP that integrates in vitro pharmacology data from multiple ion channels. Thus, modeling predictions of cardiac risk liability will depend critically on the variability in pharmacology data, and uncertainty quantification (UQ must comprise an essential component of the in silico assay. This study explores UQ methods that may be incorporated into the CiPA framework. Recently, we proposed a promising in silico TdP risk metric (qNet, which is derived from AP simulations and allows separation of a set of CiPA training compounds into Low, Intermediate, and High TdP risk categories. The purpose of this study was to use UQ to evaluate the robustness of TdP risk separation by qNet. Uncertainty in the model parameters used to describe drug binding and ionic current block was estimated using the non-parametric bootstrap method and a Bayesian inference approach. Uncertainty was then propagated through AP simulations to quantify uncertainty in qNet for each drug. UQ revealed lower uncertainty and more accurate TdP risk stratification by qNet when simulations were run at concentrations below 5× the maximum therapeutic exposure (Cmax. However, when drug effects were extrapolated above 10× Cmax, UQ showed that qNet could no longer clearly separate drugs by TdP risk. This was because for most of the pharmacology data, the amount of current block measured was <60%, preventing reliable estimation of IC50-values. The results of this study demonstrate that the accuracy of TdP risk prediction depends both on the intrinsic variability in ion channel pharmacology data as well as on experimental design considerations that preclude an

  4. Analysis of functional importance of binding sites in the Drosophila gap gene network model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Konstantin; Gursky, Vitaly V; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Dymova, Arina; Samsonova, Maria

    2015-01-01

    The statistical thermodynamics based approach provides a promising framework for construction of the genotype-phenotype map in many biological systems. Among important aspects of a good model connecting the DNA sequence information with that of a molecular phenotype (gene expression) is the selection of regulatory interactions and relevant transcription factor bindings sites. As the model may predict different levels of the functional importance of specific binding sites in different genomic and regulatory contexts, it is essential to formulate and study such models under different modeling assumptions. We elaborate a two-layer model for the Drosophila gap gene network and include in the model a combined set of transcription factor binding sites and concentration dependent regulatory interaction between gap genes hunchback and Kruppel. We show that the new variants of the model are more consistent in terms of gene expression predictions for various genetic constructs in comparison to previous work. We quantify the functional importance of binding sites by calculating their impact on gene expression in the model and calculate how these impacts correlate across all sites under different modeling assumptions. The assumption about the dual interaction between hb and Kr leads to the most consistent modeling results, but, on the other hand, may obscure existence of indirect interactions between binding sites in regulatory regions of distinct genes. The analysis confirms the previously formulated regulation concept of many weak binding sites working in concert. The model predicts a more or less uniform distribution of functionally important binding sites over the sets of experimentally characterized regulatory modules and other open chromatin domains.

  5. Dynamic changes in protein functional linkage networks revealed by integration with gene expression data.

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    Shubhada R Hegde

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Response of cells to changing environmental conditions is governed by the dynamics of intricate biomolecular interactions. It may be reasonable to assume, proteins being the dominant macromolecules that carry out routine cellular functions, that understanding the dynamics of protein:protein interactions might yield useful insights into the cellular responses. The large-scale protein interaction data sets are, however, unable to capture the changes in the profile of protein:protein interactions. In order to understand how these interactions change dynamically, we have constructed conditional protein linkages for Escherichia coli by integrating functional linkages and gene expression information. As a case study, we have chosen to analyze UV exposure in wild-type and SOS deficient E. coli at 20 minutes post irradiation. The conditional networks exhibit similar topological properties. Although the global topological properties of the networks are similar, many subtle local changes are observed, which are suggestive of the cellular response to the perturbations. Some such changes correspond to differences in the path lengths among the nodes of carbohydrate metabolism correlating with its loss in efficiency in the UV treated cells. Similarly, expression of hubs under unique conditions reflects the importance of these genes. Various centrality measures applied to the networks indicate increased importance for replication, repair, and other stress proteins for the cells under UV treatment, as anticipated. We thus propose a novel approach for studying an organism at the systems level by integrating genome-wide functional linkages and the gene expression data.

  6. The importance of functional form in optimal control solutions of problems in population dynamics

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    Runge, M.C.; Johnson, F.A.

    2002-01-01

    Optimal control theory is finding increased application in both theoretical and applied ecology, and it is a central element of adaptive resource management. One of the steps in an adaptive management process is to develop alternative models of system dynamics, models that are all reasonable in light of available data, but that differ substantially in their implications for optimal control of the resource. We explored how the form of the recruitment and survival functions in a general population model for ducks affected the patterns in the optimal harvest strategy, using a combination of analytical, numerical, and simulation techniques. We compared three relationships between recruitment and population density (linear, exponential, and hyperbolic) and three relationships between survival during the nonharvest season and population density (constant, logistic, and one related to the compensatory harvest mortality hypothesis). We found that the form of the component functions had a dramatic influence on the optimal harvest strategy and the ultimate equilibrium state of the system. For instance, while it is commonly assumed that a compensatory hypothesis leads to higher optimal harvest rates than an additive hypothesis, we found this to depend on the form of the recruitment function, in part because of differences in the optimal steady-state population density. This work has strong direct consequences for those developing alternative models to describe harvested systems, but it is relevant to a larger class of problems applying optimal control at the population level. Often, different functional forms will not be statistically distinguishable in the range of the data. Nevertheless, differences between the functions outside the range of the data can have an important impact on the optimal harvest strategy. Thus, development of alternative models by identifying a single functional form, then choosing different parameter combinations from extremes on the likelihood

  7. High-throughput deep sequencing reveals that microRNAs play important roles in salt tolerance of euhalophyte Salicornia europaea.

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    Feng, Juanjuan; Wang, Jinhui; Fan, Pengxiang; Jia, Weitao; Nie, Lingling; Jiang, Ping; Chen, Xianyang; Lv, Sulian; Wan, Lichuan; Chang, Sandra; Li, Shizhong; Li, Yinxin

    2015-02-26

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are implicated in plant development processes and play pivotal roles in plant adaptation to environmental stresses. Salicornia europaea, a salt mash euhalophyte, is a suitable model plant to study salt adaptation mechanisms. S. europaea is also a vegetable, forage, and oilseed that can be used for saline land reclamation and biofuel precursor production on marginal lands. Despite its importance, no miRNA has been identified from S. europaea thus far. Deep sequencing was performed to investigate small RNA transcriptome of S. europaea. Two hundred and ten conserved miRNAs comprising 51 families and 31 novel miRNAs (including seven miRNA star sequences) belonging to 30 families were identified. About half (13 out of 31) of the novel miRNAs were only detected in salt-treated samples. The expression of 43 conserved and 13 novel miRNAs significantly changed in response to salinity. In addition, 53 conserved and 13 novel miRNAs were differentially expressed between the shoots and roots. Furthermore, 306 and 195 S. europaea unigenes were predicted to be targets of 41 conserved and 29 novel miRNA families, respectively. These targets encoded a wide range of proteins, and genes involved in transcription regulation constituted the largest category. Four of these genes encoding laccase, F-box family protein, SAC3/GANP family protein, and NADPH cytochrome P-450 reductase were validated using 5'-RACE. Our results indicate that specific miRNAs are tightly regulated by salinity in the shoots and/or roots of S. europaea, which may play important roles in salt tolerance of this euhalophyte. The S. europaea salt-responsive miRNAs and miRNAs that target transcription factors, nucleotide binding site-leucine-rich repeat proteins and enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis as well as carbon and nitrogen metabolism may be applied in genetic engineering of crops with high stress tolerance, and genetic modification of biofuel crops with high biomass and regulatable

  8. In vivo labelling of functional ribosomes reveals spatial regulation during starvation in Podospora anserina

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    Silar Philippe

    2000-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To date, in eukaryotes, ribosomal protein expression is known to be regulated at the transcriptional and/or translational levels. But other forms of regulation may be possible. Results Here, we report the successful tagging of functional ribosomal particles with a S7-GFP chimaeric protein, making it possible to observe in vivo ribosome dynamics in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina. Microscopic observations revealed a novel kind of ribosomal protein regulation during the passage between cell growth and stationary phases, with a transient accumulation of ribosomal proteins and/or ribosome subunits in the nucleus, possibly the nucleolus, being observed at the beginning of stationary phase. Conclusion Nuclear sequestration can be another level of ribosomal protein regulation in eukaryotic cells.This may contribute to the regulation of cell growth and division.

  9. In vivo labelling of functional ribosomes reveals spatial regulation during starvation in Podospora anserina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalucque, Hervé; Silar, Philippe

    2000-01-01

    Background To date, in eukaryotes, ribosomal protein expression is known to be regulated at the transcriptional and/or translational levels. But other forms of regulation may be possible. Results Here, we report the successful tagging of functional ribosomal particles with a S7-GFP chimaeric protein, making it possible to observe in vivo ribosome dynamics in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina. Microscopic observations revealed a novel kind of ribosomal protein regulation during the passage between cell growth and stationary phases, with a transient accumulation of ribosomal proteins and/or ribosome subunits in the nucleus, possibly the nucleolus, being observed at the beginning of stationary phase. Conclusion Nuclear sequestration can be another level of ribosomal protein regulation in eukaryotic cells.This may contribute to the regulation of cell growth and division. PMID:11112985

  10. Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors.

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    Olson, William; Abdus-Saboor, Ishmail; Cui, Lian; Burdge, Justin; Raabe, Tobias; Ma, Minghong; Luo, Wenqin

    2017-10-12

    The human distal limbs have a high spatial acuity for noxious stimuli but a low density of pain-sensing neurites. To elucidate mechanisms underlying regional differences in processing nociception, we sparsely traced non-peptidergic nociceptors across the body using a newly generated Mrgprd CreERT2 mouse line. We found that mouse plantar paw skin is also innervated by a low density of Mrgprd + nociceptors, while individual arbors in different locations are comparable in size. Surprisingly, the central arbors of plantar paw and trunk innervating nociceptors have distinct morphologies in the spinal cord. This regional difference is well correlated with a heightened signal transmission for plantar paw circuits, as revealed by both spinal cord slice recordings and behavior assays. Taken together, our results elucidate a novel somatotopic functional organization of the mammalian pain system and suggest that regional central arbor structure could facilitate the "enlarged representation" of plantar paw regions in the CNS.

  11. Revealing the functions of the transketolase enzyme isoforms in Rhodopseudomonas palustris using a systems biology approach.

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    Chia-Wei Hu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rhodopseudomonas palustris (R. palustris is a purple non-sulfur anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium that belongs to the class of proteobacteria. It is capable of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it to biomass via the process of photosynthesis and the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB cycle. Transketolase is a key enzyme involved in the CBB cycle. Here, we reveal the functions of transketolase isoforms I and II in R. palustris using a systems biology approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By measuring growth ability, we found that transketolase could enhance the autotrophic growth and biomass production of R. palustris. Microarray and real-time quantitative PCR revealed that transketolase isoforms I and II were involved in different carbon metabolic pathways. In addition, immunogold staining demonstrated that the two transketolase isoforms had different spatial localizations: transketolase I was primarily associated with the intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM but transketolase II was mostly distributed in the cytoplasm. Comparative proteomic analysis and network construction of transketolase over-expression and negative control (NC strains revealed that protein folding, transcriptional regulation, amino acid transport and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase I over-expressed strain. In contrast, ATP synthesis, carbohydrate transport, glycolysis-associated carbon metabolism and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. Furthermore, ATP synthesis assays showed a significant increase in ATP synthesis in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. A PEPCK activity assay showed that PEPCK activity was higher in transketolase over-expressed strains than in the negative control strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our results indicate that the two isoforms of transketolase in R. palustris could affect photoautotrophic growth

  12. Cell array-based intracellular localization screening reveals novel functional features of human chromosome 21 proteins

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    Kahlem Pascal

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Chr21 results in Down's syndrome, a complex developmental and neurodegenerative disease. Molecular analysis of Down's syndrome, however, poses a particular challenge, because the aneuploid region of Chr21 contains many genes of unknown function. Subcellular localization of human Chr21 proteins may contribute to further understanding of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of the genes that code for these proteins. Following this idea, we used a transfected-cell array technique to perform a rapid and cost-effective analysis of the intracellular distribution of Chr 21 proteins. Results We chose 89 genes that were distributed over the majority of 21q, ranging from RBM11 (14.5 Mb to MCM3AP (46.6 Mb, with part of them expressed aberrantly in the Down's syndrome mouse model. Open reading frames of these genes were cloned into a mammalian expression vector with an amino-terminal His6 tag. All of the constructs were arrayed on glass slides and reverse transfected into HEK293T cells for protein expression. Co-localization detection using a set of organelle markers was carried out for each Chr21 protein. Here, we report the subcellular localization properties of 52 proteins. For 34 of these proteins, their localization is described for the first time. Furthermore, the alteration in cell morphology and growth as a result of protein over-expression for claudin-8 and claudin-14 genes has been characterized. Conclusion The cell array-based protein expression and detection approach is a cost-effective platform for large-scale functional analyses, including protein subcellular localization and cell phenotype screening. The results from this study reveal novel functional features of human Chr21 proteins, which should contribute to further understanding of the molecular pathology of Down's syndrome.

  13. Master stability functions reveal diffusion-driven pattern formation in networks

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    Brechtel, Andreas; Gramlich, Philipp; Ritterskamp, Daniel; Drossel, Barbara; Gross, Thilo

    2018-03-01

    We study diffusion-driven pattern formation in networks of networks, a class of multilayer systems, where different layers have the same topology, but different internal dynamics. Agents are assumed to disperse within a layer by undergoing random walks, while they can be created or destroyed by reactions between or within a layer. We show that the stability of homogeneous steady states can be analyzed with a master stability function approach that reveals a deep analogy between pattern formation in networks and pattern formation in continuous space. For illustration, we consider a generalized model of ecological meta-food webs. This fairly complex model describes the dispersal of many different species across a region consisting of a network of individual habitats while subject to realistic, nonlinear predator-prey interactions. In this example, the method reveals the intricate dependence of the dynamics on the spatial structure. The ability of the proposed approach to deal with this fairly complex system highlights it as a promising tool for ecology and other applications.

  14. Moral Complexity: The Fatal Attraction of Truthiness and the Importance of Mature Moral Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narvaez, Darcia

    2010-03-01

    Recently, intuitionist theories have been effective in capturing the academic discourse about morality. Intuitionist theories, like rationalist theories, offer important but only partial understanding of moral functioning. Both can be fallacious and succumb to truthiness: the attachment to one's opinions because they "feel right," potentially leading to harmful action or inaction. Both intuition and reasoning are involved in deliberation and expertise. Both are malleable from environmental and educational influence, making questions of normativity-which intuitions and reasoning skills to foster-of utmost importance. Good intuition and reasoning inform mature moral functioning, which needs to include capacities that promote sustainable human well-being. Individual capacities for habituated empathic concern and moral metacognition-moral locus of control, moral self-regulation, and moral self-reflection-comprise mature moral functioning, which also requires collective capacities for moral dialogue and moral institutions. These capacities underlie moral innovation and are necessary for solving the complex challenges humanity faces. © The Author(s) 2010.

  15. The important role of stratum corneum lipids for the cutaneous barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Smeden, J; Janssens, M; Gooris, G S; Bouwstra, J A

    2014-03-01

    The skin protects the body from unwanted influences from the environment as well as excessive water loss. The barrier function of the skin is located in the stratum corneum (SC). The SC consists of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix. This lipid matrix is crucial for the lipid skin barrier function. This paper provides an overview of the reported SC lipid composition and organization mainly focusing on healthy and diseased human skin. In addition, an overview is provided on the data describing the relation between lipid modulations and the impaired skin barrier function. Finally, the use of in vitro lipid models for a better understanding of the relation between the lipid composition, lipid organization and skin lipid barrier is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. Guest Editors: Kenneth R. Feingold and Peter Elias. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Transcriptome analysis of Polygonum minus reveals candidate genes involved in important secondary metabolic pathways of phenylpropanoids and flavonoids

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    Kok-Keong Loke

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background Polygonum minus is an herbal plant in the Polygonaceae family which is rich in ethnomedicinal plants. The chemical composition and characteristic pungent fragrance of Polygonum minus have been extensively studied due to its culinary and medicinal properties. There are only a few transcriptome sequences available for species from this important family of medicinal plants. The limited genetic information from the public expressed sequences tag (EST library hinders further study on molecular mechanisms underlying secondary metabolite production. Methods In this study, we performed a hybrid assembly of 454 and Illumina sequencing reads from Polygonum minus root and leaf tissues, respectively, to generate a combined transcriptome library as a reference. Results A total of 34.37 million filtered and normalized reads were assembled into 188,735 transcripts with a total length of 136.67 Mbp. We performed a similarity search against all the publicly available genome sequences and found similarity matches for 163,200 (86.5% of Polygonum minus transcripts, largely from Arabidopsis thaliana (58.9%. Transcript abundance in the leaf and root tissues were estimated and validated through RT-qPCR of seven selected transcripts involved in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids and flavonoids. All the transcripts were annotated against KEGG pathways to profile transcripts related to the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Discussion This comprehensive transcriptome profile will serve as a useful sequence resource for molecular genetics and evolutionary research on secondary metabolite biosynthesis in Polygonaceae family. Transcriptome assembly of Polygonum minus can be accessed at http://prims.researchfrontier.org/index.php/dataset/transcriptome.

  17. Spheroid Culture of Head and Neck Cancer Cells Reveals an Important Role of EGFR Signalling in Anchorage Independent Survival.

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    Braunholz, Diana; Saki, Mohammad; Niehr, Franziska; Öztürk, Merve; Borràs Puértolas, Berta; Konschak, Robert; Budach, Volker; Tinhofer, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    In solid tumours millions of cells are shed into the blood circulation each day. Only a subset of these circulating tumour cells (CTCs) survive, many of them presumable because of their potential to form multi-cellular clusters also named spheroids. Tumour cells within these spheroids are protected from anoikis, which allows them to metastasize to distant organs or re-seed at the primary site. We used spheroid cultures of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines as a model for such CTC clusters for determining the role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in cluster formation ability and cell survival after detachment from the extra-cellular matrix. The HNSCC cell lines FaDu, SCC-9 and UT-SCC-9 (UT-SCC-9P) as well as its cetuximab (CTX)-resistant sub-clone (UT-SCC-9R) were forced to grow in an anchorage-independent manner by coating culture dishes with the anti-adhesive polymer poly-2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (poly-HEMA). The extent of apoptosis, clonogenic survival and EGFR signalling under such culture conditions was evaluated. The potential of spheroid formation in suspension culture was found to be positively correlated with the proliferation rate of HNSCC cell lines as well as their basal EGFR expression levels. CTX and gefitinib blocked, whereas the addition of EGFR ligands promoted anchorage-independent cell survival and spheroid formation. Increased spheroid formation and growth were associated with persistent activation of EGFR and its downstream signalling component (MAPK/ERK). Importantly, HNSCC cells derived from spheroid cultures retained their clonogenic potential in the absence of cell-matrix contact. Addition of CTX under these conditions strongly inhibited colony formation in CTX-sensitive cell lines but not their resistant subclones. Altogether, EGFR activation was identified as crucial factor for anchorage-independent survival of HNSCC cells. Targeting EGFR in CTC cluster formation might represent an attractive anti

  18. Metagenomes reveal microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor.

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    Ma, Jinxing; Wang, Zhiwei; Li, Huan; Park, Hee-Deung; Wu, Zhichao

    2016-06-01

    Metagenomic sequencing was used to investigate the microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results showed that the microbial community in the MBR was highly diverse. Notably, function analysis of the dominant genera indicated that common genes from different phylotypes were identified for important functional potentials with the observation of variation of abundances of genes in a certain taxon (e.g., Dechloromonas). Despite maintaining similar metabolic functional potentials with a parallel full-scale conventional activated sludge (CAS) system due to treating the identical wastewater, the MBR had more abundant nitrification-related bacteria and coding genes of ammonia monooxygenase, which could well explain its excellent ammonia removal in the low-temperature period. Furthermore, according to quantification of the genes involved in exopolysaccharide and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) protein metabolism, the MBR did not show a much different potential in producing EPS compared to the CAS system, and bacteria from the membrane biofilm had lower abundances of genes associated with EPS biosynthesis and transport compared to the activated sludge in the MBR.

  19. Functional photoreceptor loss revealed with adaptive optics: an alternate cause of color blindness.

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    Carroll, Joseph; Neitz, Maureen; Hofer, Heidi; Neitz, Jay; Williams, David R

    2004-06-01

    There is enormous variation in the X-linked L/M (long/middle wavelength sensitive) gene array underlying "normal" color vision in humans. This variability has been shown to underlie individual variation in color matching behavior. Recently, red-green color blindness has also been shown to be associated with distinctly different genotypes. This has opened the possibility that there may be important phenotypic differences within classically defined groups of color blind individuals. Here, adaptive optics retinal imaging has revealed a mechanism for producing dichromatic color vision in which the expression of a mutant cone photopigment gene leads to the loss of the entire corresponding class of cone photoreceptor cells. Previously, the theory that common forms of inherited color blindness could be caused by the loss of photoreceptor cells had been discounted. We confirm that remarkably, this loss of one-third of the cones does not impair any aspect of vision other than color.

  20. Proteomic Analysis Revealed the Important Role of Vimentin in Human Cervical Carcinoma HeLa Cells Treated With Gambogic Acid*

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    Yue, Qingxi; Feng, Lixing; Cao, Biyin; Liu, Miao; Zhang, Dongmei; Wu, Wanying; Jiang, Baohong; Yang, Min; Liu, Xuan; Guo, Dean

    2016-01-01

    Gambogic acid (GA) is an anticancer agent in phase IIb clinical trial in China. In HeLa cells, GA inhibited cell proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and apoptosis, as showed by results of MTT assay and flow cytometric analysis. Possible target-related proteins of GA were searched using comparative proteomic analysis (2-DE) and nine proteins at early (3 h) stage together with nine proteins at late (24 h) stage were found. Vimentin was the only target-related protein found at both early and late stage. Results of both 2-DE analysis and Western blotting assay suggested cleavage of vimentin induced by GA. MS/MS analysis of cleaved vimentin peptides indicated possible cleavage sites of vimentin at or near ser51 and glu425. Results of targeted proteomic analysis showed that GA induced change in phosphorylation state of the vimentin head domain (aa51–64). Caspase inhibitors could not abrogate GA-induced cleavage of vimentin. Over-expression of vimentin ameliorated cytotoxicity of GA in HeLa cells. The GA-activated signal transduction, from p38 MAPK, heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), vimentin, dysfunction of cytoskeleton, to cell death, was predicted and then confirmed. Results of animal study showed that GA treatment inhibited tumor growth in HeLa tumor-bearing mice and cleavage of vimentin could be observed in tumor xenografts of GA-treated animals. Results of immunohistochemical staining also showed down-regulated vimentin level in tumor xenografts of GA-treated animals. Furthermore, compared with cytotoxicity of GA in HeLa cells, cytotoxicity of GA in MCF-7 cells with low level of vimentin was weaker whereas cytotoxicity of GA in MG-63 cells with high level of vimentin was stronger. These results indicated the important role of vimentin in the cytotoxicity of GA. The effects of GA on vimentin and other epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers provided suggestion for better usage of GA in clinic. PMID:26499837

  1. The importance of the ligation of the inferior thyroid artery in parathyroid function after subtotal thyroidectomy

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    Araujo Filho Vergilius José Furtado de

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available We prospectively studied the effects of the ligation of the inferior thyroid artery (ITA on postoperative hypoparathyroidism in 48 patients who underwent functional subtotal thyroidectomy. Patients were randomized into two groups: A, with bilateral ligation of the ITA and B, without ligation of the ITA. Parathyroid function was checked preoperatively and after surgery by clinical examination and measurement of total calcium, intact PTH, urinary calcium, and AMPc. RESULTS: A significant incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia occurred: 17% in group A and 13% in B on the 4th postoperative day. Six months later, the incidence was 5% in Group A and 0% in Group B. These differences were not statistically significant between the two groups, and neither were any of the other clinical and laboratory observations. CONCLUSION: The ligation of the ITA was not an important causal factor for the occurrence of postoperative hypocalcemia after subtotal thyroidectomy.

  2. Insights into the importance of oxygen functional groups in carbon reactions with oxygen containing gases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John Zhu, Max Lu

    2005-01-01

    The role of pore structure of carbon in carbon-related adsorptions and reactions has been extensively investigated. However the studies on the role of surface chemistry of carbon are limited. In this paper, we present the importance of oxygen functional groups in carbon reactions with oxygen-containing gases. It is found that there is a good correlation between the electronic structures and reactivities of carbon edge sites. Zigzag sites are more active in oxygen adsorption because of the unpaired electrons and armchair sites are less active in oxygen adsorption due to the triple character. However, the desorption of semi-quinone oxygen from zigzag sites needs a bond energy ca. 30% higher than that of o-quinone oxygen from armchair edge sites. CO 2 and H 2 O adsorb on carbon surface much less favorably than O 2 . H 2 O is first physically adsorbed on the virgin graphite surface followed by chemisorption through oxygen atom approaching the carbon edge site and the movements of two hydrogen atoms to produce H 2 . The adsorption mechanism of H 2 O is different from that for CO 2 , but the final result is quite similar, i.e. producing only semi-quinone oxygen. Based upon the above studies, a new generalized mechanism, as shown in Fig. 1, is developed and can account for all the important kinetic phenomena of carbon-gas reactions. The key point is that in CO 2 /H 2 O-carbon reaction only semi-quinone formed; while, in O 2 -carbon reaction, semi-quinone, o-quinone (at lower pressure), and off-plane epoxy oxygen (at relatively higher pressure) can be formed. This is the main reason for the different reaction kinetics of O 2 -carbon reaction and CO 2 /H 2 O-carbon reactions as observed experimentally. The oxygen functional groups of carbon can be characterized by XPS, PZC (point of zero charge), IEP (isoelectric point) and TPD (temperature-programmed desorption), which were used in our previous studies. We treated the carbon surface with different acids, finding that HNO 3

  3. Metagenomic analysis reveals that modern microbialites and polar microbial mats have similar taxonomic and functional potential

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    Richard Allen White III

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase. The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R2 0.900. These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.

  4. Form and function relationships revealed by long-term research in a semiarid mountain catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, J. P.; Benner, S. G.; Chandler, D. G.; Flores, A. N.; Marshall, H. P.; Seyfried, M. S.; Poulos, M. J.; Pierce, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    Fifteen years of cumulative research in the Dry Creek Experimental Watershed in southwest Idaho, USA has revealed relationships between catchment form and function and contributed to improved fundamental understanding of Critical Zone structure, function, and evolution that would not have been possible through independent short term projects alone. The impacts of aspect and elevation on incident energy and water, coupled with climate seasonality, has produced tightly connected landforms properties and hydrologic processes. North-facing hillslopes have steeper slopes, thicker soil mantles, and finer soil texture than their south-facing counterparts. Finer soils enable higher water holding capacities on north facing slopes, which when coupled with thicker soils produces higher soil water storage capacity. The storage of water first as snow, then as soil moisture determines how upland ecosystems survive the seasonal and persistent water stress that happens each year, and sustains streamflow throughout the year. The cumulative body of local knowledge has improved general understanding of catchment science, serves as a resource for developing, evaluating, and improving conceptual and numerical of process-based models, and for data-driven hydrologic education.

  5. MOBIUS-STRIP-LIKE COLUMNAR FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIONS ARE REVEALED IN SOMATO-SENSORY RECEPTIVE FIELD CENTROIDS.

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    James Joseph Wright

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Receptive fields of neurons in the forelimb region of areas 3b and 1 of primary somatosensory cortex, in cats and monkeys, were mapped using extracellular recordings obtained sequentially from nearly radial penetrations. Locations of the field centroids indicated the presence of a functional system, in which cortical homotypic representations of the limb surfaces are entwined in three-dimensional Mobius-strip-like patterns of synaptic connections. Boundaries of somatosensory receptive field in nested groups irregularly overlie the centroid order, and are interpreted as arising from the superposition of learned connections upon the embryonic order. Since the theory of embryonic synaptic self-organisation used to model these results was devised and earlier used to explain findings in primary visual cortex, the present findings suggest the theory may be of general application throughout cortex, and may reveal a modular functional synaptic system, which, only in some parts of the cortex, and in some species, is manifest as anatomical ordering into columns.

  6. PCR-Based Analysis of ColE1 Plasmids in Clinical Isolates and Metagenomic Samples Reveals Their Importance as Gene Capture Platforms

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    Manuel Ares-Arroyo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ColE1 plasmids are important vehicles for the spread of antibiotic resistance in the Enterobacteriaceae and Pasteurellaceae families of bacteria. Their monitoring is essential, as they harbor important resistant determinants in humans, animals and the environment. In this work, we have analyzed ColE1 replicons using bioinformatic and experimental approaches. First, we carried out a computational study examining the structure of different ColE1 plasmids deposited in databases. Bioinformatic analysis of these ColE1 replicons revealed a mosaic genetic structure consisting of a host-adapted conserved region responsible for the housekeeping functions of the plasmid, and a variable region encoding a wide variety of genes, including multiple antibiotic resistance determinants. From this exhaustive computational analysis we developed a new PCR-based technique, targeting a specific sequence in the conserved region, for the screening, capture and sequencing of these small plasmids, either specific for Enterobacteriaceae or specific for Pasteurellaceae. To validate this PCR-based system, we tested various collections of isolates from both bacterial families, finding that ColE1 replicons were not only highly prevalent in antibiotic-resistant isolates, but also present in susceptible bacteria. In Pasteurellaceae, ColE1 plasmids carried almost exclusively antibiotic resistance genes. In Enterobacteriaceae, these plasmids encoded a large range of traits, including not only antibiotic resistance determinants, but also a wide variety of genes, showing the huge genetic plasticity of these small replicons. Finally, we also used a metagenomic approach in order to validate this technique, performing this PCR system using total DNA extractions from fecal samples from poultry, turkeys, pigs and humans. Using Illumina sequencing of the PCR products we identified a great diversity of genes encoded by ColE1 replicons, including different antibiotic resistance

  7. RNA-seq analyses reveal insights into the function of respiratory nitrate reductase of the diazotroph Herbaspirillum seropedicae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonato, Paloma; Batista, Marcelo B; Camilios-Neto, Doumit; Pankievicz, Vânia C S; Tadra-Sfeir, Michelle Z; Monteiro, Rose Adele; Pedrosa, Fabio O; Souza, Emanuel M; Chubatsu, Leda S; Wassem, Roseli; Rigo, Liu Un

    2016-09-01

    Herbaspirillum seropedicae is a nitrogen-fixing β-proteobacterium that associates with roots of gramineous plants. In silico analyses revealed that H. seropedicae genome has genes encoding a putative respiratory (NAR) and an assimilatory nitrate reductase (NAS). To date, little is known about nitrate metabolism in H. seropedicae, and, as this bacterium cannot respire nitrate, the function of NAR remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the function of NAR in H. seropedicae and how it metabolizes nitrate in a low aerated-condition. RNA-seq transcriptional profiling in the presence of nitrate allowed us to pinpoint genes important for nitrate metabolism in H. seropedicae, including nitrate transporters and regulatory proteins. Additionally, both RNA-seq data and physiological characterization of a mutant in the catalytic subunit of NAR (narG mutant) showed that NAR is not required for nitrate assimilation but is required for: (i) production of high levels of nitrite, (ii) production of NO and (iii) dissipation of redox power, which in turn lead to an increase in carbon consumption. In addition, wheat plants showed an increase in shoot dry weight only when inoculated with H. seropedicae wild type, but not with the narG mutant, suggesting that NAR is important to H. seropedicae-wheat interaction. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Structural fragment clustering reveals novel structural and functional motifs in α-helical transmembrane proteins

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    Vassilev Boris

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large proportion of an organism's genome encodes for membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are important for many cellular processes, and several diseases can be linked to mutations in them. With the tremendous growth of sequence data, there is an increasing need to reliably identify membrane proteins from sequence, to functionally annotate them, and to correctly predict their topology. Results We introduce a technique called structural fragment clustering, which learns sequential motifs from 3D structural fragments. From over 500,000 fragments, we obtain 213 statistically significant, non-redundant, and novel motifs that are highly specific to α-helical transmembrane proteins. From these 213 motifs, 58 of them were assigned to function and checked in the scientific literature for a biological assessment. Seventy percent of the motifs are found in co-factor, ligand, and ion binding sites, 30% at protein interaction interfaces, and 12% bind specific lipids such as glycerol or cardiolipins. The vast majority of motifs (94% appear across evolutionarily unrelated families, highlighting the modularity of functional design in membrane proteins. We describe three novel motifs in detail: (1 a dimer interface motif found in voltage-gated chloride channels, (2 a proton transfer motif found in heme-copper oxidases, and (3 a convergently evolved interface helix motif found in an aspartate symporter, a serine protease, and cytochrome b. Conclusions Our findings suggest that functional modules exist in membrane proteins, and that they occur in completely different evolutionary contexts and cover different binding sites. Structural fragment clustering allows us to link sequence motifs to function through clusters of structural fragments. The sequence motifs can be applied to identify and characterize membrane proteins in novel genomes.

  9. Prokaryotic caspase homologs: phylogenetic patterns and functional characteristics reveal considerable diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Asplund-Samuelsson

    Full Text Available Caspases accomplish initiation and execution of apoptosis, a programmed cell death process specific to metazoans. The existence of prokaryotic caspase homologs, termed metacaspases, has been known for slightly more than a decade. Despite their potential connection to the evolution of programmed cell death in eukaryotes, the phylogenetic distribution and functions of these prokaryotic metacaspase sequences are largely uncharted, while a few experiments imply involvement in programmed cell death. Aiming at providing a more detailed picture of prokaryotic caspase homologs, we applied a computational approach based on Hidden Markov Model search profiles to identify and functionally characterize putative metacaspases in bacterial and archaeal genomes. Out of the total of 1463 analyzed genomes, merely 267 (18% were identified to contain putative metacaspases, but their taxonomic distribution included most prokaryotic phyla and a few archaea (Euryarchaeota. Metacaspases were particularly abundant in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, which harbor many morphologically and developmentally complex organisms, and a distinct correlation was found between abundance and phenotypic complexity in Cyanobacteria. Notably, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, known to undergo genetically regulated autolysis, lacked metacaspases. Pfam domain architecture analysis combined with operon identification revealed rich and varied configurations among the metacaspase sequences. These imply roles in programmed cell death, but also e.g. in signaling, various enzymatic activities and protein modification. Together our data show a wide and scattered distribution of caspase homologs in prokaryotes with structurally and functionally diverse sub-groups, and with a potentially intriguing evolutionary role. These features will help delineate future characterizations of death pathways in prokaryotes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. Revealing the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness using fMRI: methodological peculiarities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, Benjamin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Sack, Alexander T; Sack, Alexander; Heinecke, Armin; Willmes, Klaus; Sturm, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Clinical observations and neuroimaging data revealed a right-hemisphere fronto-parietal-thalamic-brainstem network for intrinsic alertness, and additional left fronto-parietal activity during phasic alertness. The primary objective of this fMRI study was to map the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness as precisely as possible in healthy participants, using a novel assessment paradigm already employed in clinical settings. Both the paradigm and the experimental design were optimized to specifically assess intrinsic alertness, while at the same time controlling for sensory-motor processing. The present results suggest that the processing of intrinsic alertness is accompanied by increased activity within the brainstem, thalamus, anterior cingulate gyrus, right insula, and right parietal cortex. Additionally, we found increased activation in the left hemisphere around the middle frontal gyrus (BA 9), the insula, the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. Our results further suggest that rather minute aspects of the experimental design may induce aspects of phasic alertness, which in turn might lead to additional brain activation in left-frontal areas not normally involved in intrinsic alertness. Accordingly, left BA 9 activation may be related to co-activation of the phasic alertness network due to the switch between rest and task conditions functioning as an external warning cue triggering the phasic alertness network. Furthermore, activation of the intrinsic alertness network during fixation blocks due to enhanced expectancy shortly before the switch to the task block might, when subtracted from the task block, lead to diminished activation in the typical right hemisphere intrinsic alertness network. Thus, we cautiously suggest that--as a methodological artifact--left frontal activations might show up due to phasic alertness involvement and intrinsic alertness activations might be weakened due to contrasting with fixation blocks, when assessing the

  12. An uncertainty importance measure using a distance metric for the change in a cumulative distribution function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun, Moon-Hyun; Han, Seok-Jung; Tak, Nam-IL

    2000-01-01

    A simple measure of uncertainty importance using the entire change of cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) has been developed for use in probability safety assessments (PSAs). The entire change of CDFs is quantified in terms of the metric distance between two CDFs. The metric distance measure developed in this study reflects the relative impact of distributional changes of inputs on the change of an output distribution, while most of the existing uncertainty importance measures reflect the magnitude of relative contribution of input uncertainties to the output uncertainty. The present measure has been evaluated analytically for various analytical distributions to examine its characteristics. To illustrate the applicability and strength of the present measure, two examples are provided. The first example is an application of the present measure to a typical problem of a system fault tree analysis and the second one is for a hypothetical non-linear model. Comparisons of the present result with those obtained by existing uncertainty importance measures show that the metric distance measure is a useful tool to express the measure of uncertainty importance in terms of the relative impact of distributional changes of inputs on the change of an output distribution

  13. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javed, Afzal; Charles, Asha

    2018-01-01

    Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception) as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs) and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have yielded more mixed

  14. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afzal Javed

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have

  15. An Interactome-Centered Protein Discovery Approach Reveals Novel Components Involved in Mitosome Function and Homeostasis in Giardia lamblia.

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    Samuel Rout

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Protozoan parasites of the genus Giardia are highly prevalent globally, and infect a wide range of vertebrate hosts including humans, with proliferation and pathology restricted to the small intestine. This narrow ecological specialization entailed extensive structural and functional adaptations during host-parasite co-evolution. An example is the streamlined mitosomal proteome with iron-sulphur protein maturation as the only biochemical pathway clearly associated with this organelle. Here, we applied techniques in microscopy and protein biochemistry to investigate the mitosomal membrane proteome in association to mitosome homeostasis. Live cell imaging revealed a highly immobilized array of 30-40 physically distinct mitosome organelles in trophozoites. We provide direct evidence for the single giardial dynamin-related protein as a contributor to mitosomal morphogenesis and homeostasis. To overcome inherent limitations that have hitherto severely hampered the characterization of these unique organelles we applied a novel interaction-based proteome discovery strategy using forward and reverse protein co-immunoprecipitation. This allowed generation of organelle proteome data strictly in a protein-protein interaction context. We built an initial Tom40-centered outer membrane interactome by co-immunoprecipitation experiments, identifying small GTPases, factors with dual mitosome and endoplasmic reticulum (ER distribution, as well as novel matrix proteins. Through iterative expansion of this protein-protein interaction network, we were able to i significantly extend this interaction-based mitosomal proteome to include other membrane-associated proteins with possible roles in mitosome morphogenesis and connection to other subcellular compartments, and ii identify novel matrix proteins which may shed light on mitosome-associated metabolic functions other than Fe-S cluster biogenesis. Functional analysis also revealed conceptual conservation of protein

  16. Functional Connectivity Estimated from Resting-State fMRI Reveals Selective Alterations in Male Adolescents with Pure Conduct Disorder.

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    Feng-Mei Lu

    Full Text Available Conduct disorder (CD is characterized by a persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and aggression in childhood and adolescence. Previous task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have revealed widespread brain regional abnormalities in adolescents with CD. However, whether the resting-state networks (RSNs are altered in adolescents with CD remains unknown. In this study, resting-state fMRI data were first acquired from eighteen male adolescents with pure CD and eighteen age- and gender-matched typically developing (TD individuals. Independent component analysis (ICA was implemented to extract nine representative RSNs, and the generated RSNs were then compared to show the differences between the CD and TD groups. Interestingly, it was observed from the brain mapping results that compared with the TD group, the CD group manifested decreased functional connectivity in four representative RSNs: the anterior default mode network (left middle frontal gyrus, which is considered to be correlated with impaired social cognition, the somatosensory network (bilateral supplementary motor area and right postcentral gyrus, the lateral visual network (left superior occipital gyrus, and the medial visual network (right fusiform, left lingual gyrus and right calcarine, which are expected to be relevant to the perceptual systems responsible for perceptual dysfunction in male adolescents with CD. Importantly, the novel findings suggested that male adolescents with pure CD were identified to have dysfunctions in both low-level perceptual networks (the somatosensory network and visual network and a high-order cognitive network (the default mode network. Revealing the changes in the functional connectivity of these RSNs enhances our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of emotion and social cognition and the regulation of perception in adolescents with CD.

  17. Thrombospondins 1 and 2 are important for afferent synapse formation and function in the inner ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendus, Diana; Sundaresan, Srividya; Grillet, Nicolas; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Leu, Rose; Müller, Ulrich; Jones, Sherri M; Mustapha, Mirna

    2014-04-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) constitute a family of secreted extracellular matrix proteins that have been shown to be involved in the formation of synapses in the central nervous system. In this study, we show that TSP1 and TSP2 are expressed in the cochlea, and offer the first description of their putative roles in afferent synapse development and function in the inner ear. We examined mice with deletions of TSP1, TSP2 and both (TSP1/TSP2) for inner ear development and function. Immunostaining for synaptic markers indicated a significant decrease in the number of formed afferent synapses in the cochleae of TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 knockout (KO) mice at postnatal day (P)29. In functional studies, TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed elevated auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds as compared with wild-type littermates, starting at P15, with the most severe phenotype being seen for TSP1/TSP2 KO mice. TSP1/TSP2 KO mice also showed reduced wave I amplitudes of ABRs and vestibular evoked potentials, suggesting synaptic dysfunction in both the auditory and vestibular systems. Whereas ABR thresholds in TSP1 KO mice were relatively unaffected at early ages, TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed the most severe phenotype among all of the genotypes tested, suggesting functional redundancy between the two genes. On the basis of the above results, we propose that TSPs play an important role in afferent synapse development and function of the inner ear. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. STAT2 Knockout Syrian Hamsters Support Enhanced Replication and Pathogenicity of Human Adenovirus, Revealing an Important Role of Type I Interferon Response in Viral Control.

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    Karoly Toth

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Human adenoviruses have been studied extensively in cell culture and have been a model for studies in molecular, cellular, and medical biology. However, much less is known about adenovirus replication and pathogenesis in vivo in a permissive host because of the lack of an adequate animal model. Presently, the most frequently used permissive immunocompetent animal model for human adenovirus infection is the Syrian hamster. Species C human adenoviruses replicate in these animals and cause pathology that is similar to that seen with humans. Here, we report findings with a new Syrian hamster strain in which the STAT2 gene was functionally knocked out by site-specific gene targeting. Adenovirus-infected STAT2 knockout hamsters demonstrated an accentuated pathology compared to the wild-type control animals, and the virus load in the organs of STAT2 knockout animals was 100- to 1000-fold higher than that in wild-type hamsters. Notably, the adaptive immune response to adenovirus is not adversely affected in STAT2 knockout hamsters, and surviving hamsters cleared the infection by 7 to 10 days post challenge. We show that the Type I interferon pathway is disrupted in these hamsters, revealing the critical role of interferon-stimulated genes in controlling adenovirus infection. This is the first study to report findings with a genetically modified Syrian hamster infected with a virus. Further, this is the first study to show that the Type I interferon pathway plays a role in inhibiting human adenovirus replication in a permissive animal model. Besides providing an insight into adenovirus infection in humans, our results are also interesting from the perspective of the animal model: STAT2 knockout Syrian hamster may also be an important animal model for studying other viral infections, including Ebola-, hanta-, and dengue viruses, where Type I interferon-mediated innate immunity prevents wild type hamsters from being effectively infected to be used as

  19. Domain swapping reveals that the N-terminal domain of the sensor kinase KdpD in Escherichia coli is important for signaling

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    Lippert Marie-Luise

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The KdpD/KdpE two-component system of Escherichia coli regulates expression of the kdpFABC operon encoding the high affinity K+ transport system KdpFABC. The input domain of KdpD comprises a domain that belongs to the family of universal stress proteins (Usp. It has been previously demonstrated that UspC binds to this domain, resulting in KdpD/KdpE scaffolding under salt stress. However the mechanistic significance of this domain for signaling remains unclear. Here, we employed a "domain swapping" approach to replace the KdpD-Usp domain with four homologous domains or with the six soluble Usp proteins of E. coli. Results Full response to salt stress was only achieved with a chimera that contains UspC, probably due to unaffected scaffolding of the KdpD/KdpE signaling cascade by soluble UspC. Unexpectedly, chimeras containing either UspF or UspG not only prevented kdpFABC expression under salt stress but also under K+ limiting conditions, although these hybrid proteins exhibited kinase and phosphotransferase activities in vitro. These are the first KdpD derivatives that do not respond to K+ limitation due to alterations in the N-terminal domain. Analysis of the KdpD-Usp tertiary structure revealed that this domain has a net positively charged surface, while UspF and UspG are characterized by net negative surface charges. Conclusion The Usp domain within KdpD not only functions as a binding surface for the scaffold UspC, but it is also important for KdpD signaling. We propose that KdpD sensing/signaling involves alterations of electrostatic interactions between the large N- and C-terminal cytoplasmic domains.

  20. Psychophysical "blinding" methods reveal a functional hierarchy of unconscious visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitmeyer, Bruno G

    2015-09-01

    Numerous non-invasive experimental "blinding" methods exist for suppressing the phenomenal awareness of visual stimuli. Not all of these suppressive methods occur at, and thus index, the same level of unconscious visual processing. This suggests that a functional hierarchy of unconscious visual processing can in principle be established. The empirical results of extant studies that have used a number of different methods and additional reasonable theoretical considerations suggest the following tentative hierarchy. At the highest levels in this hierarchy is unconscious processing indexed by object-substitution masking. The functional levels indexed by crowding, the attentional blink (and other attentional blinding methods), backward pattern masking, metacontrast masking, continuous flash suppression, sandwich masking, and single-flash interocular suppression, fall at progressively lower levels, while unconscious processing at the lowest levels is indexed by eye-based binocular-rivalry suppression. Although unconscious processing levels indexed by additional blinding methods is yet to be determined, a tentative placement at lower levels in the hierarchy is also given for unconscious processing indexed by Troxler fading and adaptation-induced blindness, and at higher levels in the hierarchy indexed by attentional blinding effects in addition to the level indexed by the attentional blink. The full mapping of levels in the functional hierarchy onto cortical activation sites and levels is yet to be determined. The existence of such a hierarchy bears importantly on the search for, and the distinctions between, neural correlates of conscious and unconscious vision. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Endozoicomonas genomes reveal functional adaptation and plasticity in bacterial strains symbiotically associated with diverse marine hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.

    2017-01-17

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are globally distributed and often abundantly associated with diverse marine hosts including reef-building corals, yet their function remains unknown. In this study we generated novel Endozoicomonas genomes from single cells and metagenomes obtained directly from the corals Stylophora pistillata, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Acropora humilis. We then compared these culture-independent genomes to existing genomes of bacterial isolates acquired from a sponge, sea slug, and coral to examine the functional landscape of this enigmatic genus. Sequencing and analysis of single cells and metagenomes resulted in four novel genomes with 60–76% and 81–90% genome completeness, respectively. These data also confirmed that Endozoicomonas genomes are large and are not streamlined for an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle, implying that they have free-living stages. All genomes show an enrichment of genes associated with carbon sugar transport and utilization and protein secretion, potentially indicating that Endozoicomonas contribute to the cycling of carbohydrates and the provision of proteins to their respective hosts. Importantly, besides these commonalities, the genomes showed evidence for differential functional specificity and diversification, including genes for the production of amino acids. Given this metabolic diversity of Endozoicomonas we propose that different genotypes play disparate roles and have diversified in concert with their hosts.

  2. Endozoicomonas genomes reveal functional adaptation and plasticity in bacterial strains symbiotically associated with diverse marine hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.; Michell, Craig; Apprill, Amy; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are globally distributed and often abundantly associated with diverse marine hosts including reef-building corals, yet their function remains unknown. In this study we generated novel Endozoicomonas genomes from single cells and metagenomes obtained directly from the corals Stylophora pistillata, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Acropora humilis. We then compared these culture-independent genomes to existing genomes of bacterial isolates acquired from a sponge, sea slug, and coral to examine the functional landscape of this enigmatic genus. Sequencing and analysis of single cells and metagenomes resulted in four novel genomes with 60–76% and 81–90% genome completeness, respectively. These data also confirmed that Endozoicomonas genomes are large and are not streamlined for an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle, implying that they have free-living stages. All genomes show an enrichment of genes associated with carbon sugar transport and utilization and protein secretion, potentially indicating that Endozoicomonas contribute to the cycling of carbohydrates and the provision of proteins to their respective hosts. Importantly, besides these commonalities, the genomes showed evidence for differential functional specificity and diversification, including genes for the production of amino acids. Given this metabolic diversity of Endozoicomonas we propose that different genotypes play disparate roles and have diversified in concert with their hosts.

  3. Continental cichlid radiations: functional diversity reveals the role of changing ecological opportunity in the Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

    Adaptive radiations have been hypothesized to contribute broadly to the diversity of organisms. Models of adaptive radiation predict that ecological opportunity and ecological release, the availability of empty ecological niches and the response by adapting lineages to occupy them, respectively, drive patterns of phenotypic and lineage diversification. Adaptive radiations driven by 'ecological opportunity' are well established in island systems; it is less clear if ecological opportunity influences continent-wide diversification. We use Neotropical cichlid fishes to test if variation in rates of functional evolution is consistent with changing ecological opportunity. Across a functional morphological axis associated with ram-suction feeding traits, evolutionary rates declined through time as lineages diversified in South America. Evolutionary rates of ram-suction functional morphology also appear to have accelerated as cichlids colonized Central America and encountered renewed opportunity. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological diversity of even broadly distributed lineages like Neotropical cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. A research on the importance function used in the calculation of the fracture probability through the optimum method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zegong, Zhou; Changhong, Liu

    1995-01-01

    On the basis of the research into original distribution function as the importance function after shifting an appropriate distance, this paper takes the variation of similar ratio of the original function to the importance function as the objective function, the optimum shifting distance obtained by use of an optimization method. The optimum importance function resulting from the optimization method can ensure that the number of Monte Carlo simulations is decreased and at the same time the good estimates of the yearly failure probabilities are obtained

  5. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and single cell genomics reveal functional response of active Oceanospirillales to Gulf oil spill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Borglin, Sharon; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Dubinsky, Eric A.; Fortney, Julian L.; Han, James; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Hultman, Jenni; Lamendella, Regina; Mackelprang, Rachel; Malfatti, Stephanie; Tom, Lauren M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Woyke, Tanja; Zhou, Jizhong; Rubin, Edward M.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2012-06-12

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.

  6. Crystal structure analysis reveals functional flexibility in the selenocysteine-specific tRNA from mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg M Ganichkin

    Full Text Available Selenocysteine tRNAs (tRNA(Sec exhibit a number of unique identity elements that are recognized specifically by proteins of the selenocysteine biosynthetic pathways and decoding machineries. Presently, these identity elements and the mechanisms by which they are interpreted by tRNA(Sec-interacting factors are incompletely understood.We applied rational mutagenesis to obtain well diffracting crystals of murine tRNA(Sec. tRNA(Sec lacking the single-stranded 3'-acceptor end ((ΔGCCARNA(Sec yielded a crystal structure at 2.0 Å resolution. The global structure of (ΔGCCARNA(Sec resembles the structure of human tRNA(Sec determined at 3.1 Å resolution. Structural comparisons revealed flexible regions in tRNA(Sec used for induced fit binding to selenophosphate synthetase. Water molecules located in the present structure were involved in the stabilization of two alternative conformations of the anticodon stem-loop. Modeling of a 2'-O-methylated ribose at position U34 of the anticodon loop as found in a sub-population of tRNA(Secin vivo showed how this modification favors an anticodon loop conformation that is functional during decoding on the ribosome. Soaking of crystals in Mn(2+-containing buffer revealed eight potential divalent metal ion binding sites but the located metal ions did not significantly stabilize specific structural features of tRNA(Sec.We provide the most highly resolved structure of a tRNA(Sec molecule to date and assessed the influence of water molecules and metal ions on the molecule's conformation and dynamics. Our results suggest how conformational changes of tRNA(Sec support its interaction with proteins.

  7. On the importance of the 2nd readout as a function of dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batel, V.I.; Alves, J.G.; Rangel, S.; Abrantes, J.N.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: The individual monitoring service at ITN-DPRSN is based on a TLD dosimetry system. The system is comprised of two 6600 Harshaw readers and on the Harshaw 8814 TL card and holder containing two LiF:Mg,Ti (TLD-100) detectors for the evaluation of H p (10) and H p (0.07). As part of our normal reading procedure, after the readout for dose evaluation a second reading is always carried out before the dosemeters are considered ready for another use and shipped to clients. Second readouts produce the residual signal and confirm the dosemeter is reset. However, it is a time-consuming task and particularly in the low dose cases, the question arises whether it could be avoided? In this paper the importance of a second readout was evaluated and is presented. Four experiments were performed using two groups of twenty-five randomly selected dosemeters. In each group the dosemeters were organized in sets of five and each set was irradiated to a different dose of 0.5, 1, 5, 10 and 50 mSv and processed. This was repeated for ten times. In the first experiment the dosemeters were read for dose evaluation and a second readout was always performed. In the second experiment the second readout was suppressed. The third and fourth experiments were as the first and second, but the dosemeters were irradiated to an additional dose of 0.50 mSv in between. The results obtained from experiments one and two, evaluate the importance of the second readout on the reproducibility of the measurement as a function of dose. Experiments three and four also provide information on the capacity to detect an intermediate low dose of 0.5 mSv, as a function of dose, for the normal reading procedure and when the second readout is avoided. In this paper the importance of the second readout is studied performing reproducibility measurements as a function of dose and by testing the capacity to detect the 0.5 mSv intermediate dose also as a function of dose. (author)

  8. Cardiac Alpha1-Adrenergic Receptors: Novel Aspects of Expression, Signaling Mechanisms, Physiologic Function, and Clinical Importance

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Connell, Timothy D.; Jensen, Brian C.; Baker, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Adrenergic receptors (AR) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that have a crucial role in cardiac physiology in health and disease. Alpha1-ARs signal through Gαq, and signaling through Gq, for example, by endothelin and angiotensin receptors, is thought to be detrimental to the heart. In contrast, cardiac alpha1-ARs mediate important protective and adaptive functions in the heart, although alpha1-ARs are only a minor fraction of total cardiac ARs. Cardiac alpha1-ARs activate pleiotropic downstream signaling to prevent pathologic remodeling in heart failure. Mechanisms defined in animal and cell models include activation of adaptive hypertrophy, prevention of cardiac myocyte death, augmentation of contractility, and induction of ischemic preconditioning. Surprisingly, at the molecular level, alpha1-ARs localize to and signal at the nucleus in cardiac myocytes, and, unlike most GPCRs, activate “inside-out” signaling to cause cardioprotection. Contrary to past opinion, human cardiac alpha1-AR expression is similar to that in the mouse, where alpha1-AR effects are seen most convincingly in knockout models. Human clinical studies show that alpha1-blockade worsens heart failure in hypertension and does not improve outcomes in heart failure, implying a cardioprotective role for human alpha1-ARs. In summary, these findings identify novel functional and mechanistic aspects of cardiac alpha1-AR function and suggest that activation of cardiac alpha1-AR might be a viable therapeutic strategy in heart failure. PMID:24368739

  9. Perifoveal function in patients with North Carolina macular dystrophy: the importance of accounting for fixation locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiple, William; Szlyk, Janet P; Paliga, Jennifer; Rabb, Maurice F

    2006-04-01

    To quantify the extent of visual function losses in patients with North Carolina Macular Dystrophy (NCMD) and to demonstrate the importance of accounting for eccentric fixation when making comparisons with normal data. Five patients with NCMD who were from a single family were examined. Multifocal electroretinograms (mfERGs) and psychophysical assessments of acuity and luminance visual field sensitivities were measured throughout the central retina. Comparisons of responses from equivalent retinal areas were accomplished by shifting normal templates to be centered at the locus of fixation for each patient. Losses of psychophysically measured visual function in patients with NCMD extend to areas adjacent to the locations of visible lesions. The multifocal ERG amplitude was reduced only within the area of visible lesion. Multifocal ERG implicit times were delayed throughout the entire central retinal area assessed. ERG timing is a sensitive assay of retinal function, and our results indicate that NCMD has a widespread effect at the level of the mid and outer retina. The findings also demonstrated that it is necessary to account for fixation locus and to ensure that equivalent retinal areas are compared when testing patients with macular disease who have eccentric fixation.

  10. Limits of Science and the Importance of Epistemological Functions of Religion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qodratullah Qorbani

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Human is encountered by many metaphysical, scientific, religious and other fundamentalquestions which Science, and its potentials, can answer some of them, specially in the material realm.In fact, empirical science is limited to the material world, and it can’t answer human’s fundamentalquestions of his/her living. Then human can’t provide all his/her epistemological requirements byempirical science. In addition, contemporary human’s scientism caused many problems for him/her.Human tried to make empirical science as a worldview which caused some important andfundamental crisis. So he/she needs metaphysical, religious and other sources to know aboutsupernatural facts. Fulfilling this, he/she has to use religious teachings, because religions, in particulardivine ones, have many basic functions. They can make man aware about immaterial realms andexistents including God, origin and resurrection of man, the world system etc. They can give areasonable explanation of the origin and resurrection of human’s life and the meaning of human’sevolution in the mundane universe, and the philosophy of living by explaining the nature of Goodnessand Evil. Religions give some ethical and religious laws to manage and control his/her individual andsocial treatments. In fact, through religious teachings,man can take a suitable framework to managehis/her living, for example, by them man can determine functional results of his/her scientific andtechnological activities. In addition, religions can draw the spiritual future of human’s mundaneliving, and give a good motivation to get mundane and spiritual happiness. In the other word, man,only by the help of religious teachings, can take his/her fundamental requirements. Then, byconsidering the contemporary human epistemological crisis and important limits of human’sknowledge and science, there is the only way to refer to divine religions teachings. In this paper, it istried to explain religion functions in

  11. Functional proteomic analyses of Bothrops atrox venom reveals phenotypes associated with habitat variation in the Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Leijiane F; Portes-Junior, José A; Nicolau, Carolina A; Bernardoni, Juliana L; Nishiyama, Milton Y; Amazonas, Diana R; Freitas-de-Sousa, Luciana A; Mourão, Rosa Hv; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Valente, Richard H; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2017-04-21

    Venom variability is commonly reported for venomous snakes including Bothrops atrox. Here, we compared the composition of venoms from B. atrox snakes collected at Amazonian conserved habitats (terra-firme upland forest and várzea) and human modified areas (pasture and degraded areas). Venom samples were submitted to shotgun proteomic analysis as a whole or compared after fractionation by reversed-phase chromatography. Whole venom proteomes revealed a similar composition among the venoms with predominance of SVMPs, CTLs, and SVSPs and intermediate amounts of PLA 2 s and LAAOs. However, when distribution of particular isoforms was analyzed by either method, the venom from várzea snakes showed a decrease in hemorrhagic SVMPs and an increase in SVSPs, and procoagulant SVMPs and PLA 2 s. These differences were validated by experimental approaches including both enzymatic and in vivo assays, and indicated restrictions in respect to antivenom efficacy to variable components. Thus, proteomic analysis at the isoform level combined to in silico prediction of functional properties may indicate venom biological activity. These results also suggest that the prevalence of functionally distinct isoforms contributes to the variability of the venoms and could reflect the adaptation of B. atrox to distinct prey communities in different Amazon habitats. In this report, we compared isoforms present in venoms from snakes collected at different Amazonian habitats. By means of a species venom gland transcriptome and the in silico functional prediction of each isoform, we were able to predict the principal venom activities in vitro and in animal models. We also showed remarkable differences in the venom pools from snakes collected at the floodplain (várzea habitat) compared to other habitats. Not only was this venom less hemorrhagic and more procoagulant, when compared to the venom pools from the other three habitats studied, but also this enhanced procoagulant activity was not

  12. Live Imaging of Calcium Dynamics during Axon Degeneration Reveals Two Functionally Distinct Phases of Calcium Influx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Yuya; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is a key regulator of axon degeneration caused by trauma and disease, but its specific spatial and temporal dynamics in injured axons remain unclear. To clarify the function of calcium in axon degeneration, we observed calcium dynamics in single injured neurons in live zebrafish larvae and tested the temporal requirement for calcium in zebrafish neurons and cultured mouse DRG neurons. Using laser axotomy to induce Wallerian degeneration (WD) in zebrafish peripheral sensory axons, we monitored calcium dynamics from injury to fragmentation, revealing two stereotyped phases of axonal calcium influx. First, axotomy triggered a transient local calcium wave originating at the injury site. This initial calcium wave only disrupted mitochondria near the injury site and was not altered by expression of the protective WD slow (WldS) protein. Inducing multiple waves with additional axotomies did not change the kinetics of degeneration. In contrast, a second phase of calcium influx occurring minutes before fragmentation spread as a wave throughout the axon, entered mitochondria, and was abolished by WldS expression. In live zebrafish, chelating calcium after the first wave, but before the second wave, delayed the progress of fragmentation. In cultured DRG neurons, chelating calcium early in the process of WD did not alter degeneration, but chelating calcium late in WD delayed fragmentation. We propose that a terminal calcium wave is a key instructive component of the axon degeneration program. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon degeneration resulting from trauma or neurodegenerative disease can cause devastating deficits in neural function. Understanding the molecular and cellular events that execute axon degeneration is essential for developing treatments to address these conditions. Calcium is known to contribute to axon degeneration, but its temporal requirements in this process have been unclear. Live calcium imaging in severed zebrafish neurons and temporally controlled

  13. Correspondent Functional Topography of the Human Left Inferior Parietal Lobule at Rest and Under Task Revealed Using Resting-State fMRI and Coactivation Based Parcellation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiaojian; Xie, Sangma; Guo, Xin; Becker, Benjamin; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Jiang, Tianzi

    2017-03-01

    The human left inferior parietal lobule (LIPL) plays a pivotal role in many cognitive functions and is an important node in the default mode network (DMN). Although many previous studies have proposed different parcellation schemes for the LIPL, the detailed functional organization of the LIPL and the exact correspondence between the DMN and LIPL subregions remain unclear. Mounting evidence indicates that spontaneous fluctuations in the brain are strongly associated with cognitive performance at the behavioral level. However, whether a consistent functional topographic organization of the LIPL during rest and under task can be revealed remains unknown. Here, they used resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and task-related coactivation patterns separately to parcellate the LIPL and identified seven subregions. Four subregions were located in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and three subregions were located in the angular gyrus (AG). The subregion-specific networks and functional characterization revealed that the four anterior subregions were found to be primarily involved in sensorimotor processing, movement imagination and inhibitory control, audition perception and speech processing, and social cognition, whereas the three posterior subregions were mainly involved in episodic memory, semantic processing, and spatial cognition. The results revealed a detailed functional organization of the LIPL and suggested that the LIPL is a functionally heterogeneous area. In addition, the present study demonstrated that the functional architecture of the LIPL during rest corresponds with that found in task processing. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1659-1675, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Nuclear import and export signals are essential for proper cellular trafficking and function of ZIC3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, James E J; Purnell, Jennifer D; Ware, Stephanie M

    2007-01-15

    Missense, frameshift and nonsense mutations in the zinc finger transcription factor ZIC3 cause heterotaxy as well as isolated congenital heart disease. Previously, we developed transactivation and subcellular localization assays to test the function of ZIC3 point mutations. Aberrant cytoplasmic localization suggested that the pathogenesis of ZIC3 mutations results, at least in part, from failure of appropriate cellular trafficking. To further investigate this hypothesis, the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling properties of ZIC3 have been examined. Subcellular localization assays designed to span the entire open-reading frame of wild-type and mutant ZIC3 proteins identified the presence of nucleocytoplasmic transport signals. ZIC3 domain mapping indicates that a relatively large region containing the zinc finger binding sites and a known GLI interacting domain is required for transport to the nucleus. Site-directed mutagenesis of critical residues within two putative nuclear localization signals (NLSs) leads to loss of nuclear localization. No further decrease was observed when both NLS sites were mutated, suggesting that mutation of either NLS site is sufficient for loss of importin-mediated nuclear localization. Additionally, we identify a cryptic CRM-1-dependent nuclear export signal (NES) within ZIC3, and identify a mutation within this region in a patient with heterotaxy. These results provide the first evidence that control of cellular trafficking of ZIC3 is critical for function and suggest a possible mechanism for transcriptional control during left-right patterning. Identification of mutations in mapped NLS or NES domains in heterotaxy patients demonstrates the functional importance of these domains in cardiac morphogenesis and allows for integration of structural analysis with developmental function.

  15. Effects of prefrontal tDCS on executive function: Methodological considerations revealed by meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imburgio, Michael J; Orr, Joseph M

    2018-05-01

    A meta-analysis of studies using single-session transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to target the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was undertaken to examine the effect of stimulation on executive function (EF) in healthy samples. 27 studies were included in analyses, yielding 71 effect sizes. The most relevant measure for each task was determined a priori and used to calculate Hedge's g. Methodological characteristics of each study were examined individually as potential moderators of effect size. Stimulation effects on three domains of EF (inhibition of prepotent responses, mental set shifting, and information updating and monitoring) were analyzed separately. In line with previous work, the current study found no significant effect of anodal unilateral tDCS, cathodal unilateral tDCS, or bilateral tDCS on EF. Further moderator and subgroup analyses were only carried out for anodal unilateral montages due to the small number of studies using other montages. Subgroup analyses revealed a significant effect of anodal unilateral tDCS on updating tasks, but not on inhibition or set-shifting tasks. Cathode location significantly moderated the effect of anodal unilateral tDCS. Extracranial cathodes yielded a significant effect on EF while cranial cathodes yielded no effect. Anode size also significantly moderated effect of anodal unilateral tDCS, with smaller anodes being more effective than larger anodes. In summary, anodal DLPFC stimulation is more effective at improving updating ability than inhibition and set-shifting ability, but anodal stimulation can significantly improve general executive function when extracranial cathodes or small anodes are used. Future meta-analyses may examine how stimulation's effects on specific behavioral tasks, rather than broader domains, might be affected by methodological moderators. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Evaluation of the regional lung function revealed in radioaerosol scintigram of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Teruyasu

    1980-01-01

    We classified the findings of radioaerosol inhalation scintigrams of patients with various stages of obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) into 4 grades, according to the extent of peripheral irregularity and central hot spot formation; Stage I represents normal homogeneous distribution, stage II represents peripheral irregularity, stage III represents additional hot spot formation and stage IV represents further regional defect. This aerosol grading criteria was then compared with routine and specific lung function tests. The aerosol grading criterion correlated well with FEV sub(1.0)% which is a good indicator of the severity of COPD. The central hot spot formation correlated well with FEV sub(1.0)% and respiratory resistance (R.p.) determined by the oscillation method, both of which are good indicators of abnormality in central airway resistance. Peripheral irregularity correlated well with: 1) flows at 50%VC and 25%VC in a maximum forced expiratory flow volume curve; 2) closing volume (CV/VC%); 3) delta N 2 %/l in N 2 single washout test; and 4) the regional delay of 133 Xe washout process, all of which are sensitive indicators of small airway disease. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the radioaerosol scintigram reveals the regional lung function both in terms of airway resistance (R) and compliance (C). This criterion was useful in quantitatively evaluating the regional ventilation distribution of COPD and the therapeutic effect on bronchial asthma. The mechanism of aerosol praticle deposition related to characteristic central hot spot formation accompanied with peripheral irregularity in a radioaerosol scintigram of COPD, needs further exploration concerning the aerodynamic behavior of aerosol particles in the airways both during inspiration and expiration. (author)

  17. X-ray CT Scanning Reveals Long-Term Copper Pollution Effects on Functional Soil Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Homstrup, Martin

    Soil structure plays the main role in the ability of the soil to fulfill essential soil functions such as the root growth, rate of water infiltration and retention, transport of gaseous and chemicals/pollutants through the soil. Soil structure is a dynamic soil property and affected by various...... factors such as soil type, land use, and soil contamination. In this study, we quantified the soil structure using X-ray CT scanning and revealed the effect of a long history of Copper (Cu) pollution on it. A fallow field at Hygum Denmark provides this opportunity as it had a long history of Copper...... sulphate contamination in a gradient with Cu content varies from 21 mg kg-1 to 3837 mg kg-1. Total 20 intact soil columns (diameter of 10 cm and height of 8 cm) were sampled at five locations along the Cu-gradient from a depth of 5 to 15 cm below surface level. The soil columns were scanned at a voxel...

  18. Proteomic analysis reveals a novel function of the kinase Sat4p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uta Gey

    Full Text Available The Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinase Sat4p has been originally identified as a protein involved in salt tolerance and stabilization of plasma membrane transporters, implicating a cytoplasmic localization. Our study revealed an additional mitochondrial (mt localization, suggesting a dual function for Sat4p. While no mt related phenotype was observed in the absence of Sat4p, its overexpression resulted in significant changes of a specific mitochondrial subproteome. As shown by a comparative two dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE approach combined with mass spectrometry, particularly two groups of proteins were affected: the iron-sulfur containing aconitase-type proteins (Aco1p, Lys4p and the lipoamide-containing subproteome (Lat1p, Kgd2p and Gcv3p. The lipoylation sites of all three proteins could be assigned by nanoLC-MS/MS to Lys75 (Lat1p, Lys114 (Kgd2p and Lys102 (Gcv3p, respectively. Sat4p overexpression resulted in accumulation of the delipoylated protein variants and in reduced levels of aconitase-type proteins, accompanied by a decrease in the activities of the respective enzyme complexes. We propose a regulatory role of Sat4p in the late steps of the maturation of a specific subset of mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster proteins, including Aco1p and lipoate synthase Lip5p. Impairment of the latter enzyme may account for the observed lipoylation defects.

  19. Functional Genomic Screening Reveals Core Modulators of Echinocandin Stress Responses in Candida albicans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tavia Caplan

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Candida albicans is a leading cause of death due to fungal infection. Treatment of systemic candidiasis often relies on echinocandins, which disrupt cell wall synthesis. Resistance is readily acquired via mutations in the drug target gene, FKS1. Both basal tolerance and resistance to echinocandins require cellular stress responses. We performed a systematic analysis of 3,030 C. albicans mutants to define circuitry governing cellular responses to echinocandins. We identified 16 genes for which deletion or transcriptional repression enhanced echinocandin susceptibility, including components of the Pkc1-MAPK signaling cascade. We discovered that the molecular chaperone Hsp90 is required for the stability of Pkc1 and Bck1, establishing key mechanisms through which Hsp90 mediates echinocandin resistance. We also discovered that perturbation of the CCT chaperonin complex causes enhanced echinocandin sensitivity, altered cell wall architecture, and aberrant septin localization. Thus, we provide insights into the mechanisms by which cellular chaperones enable crucial responses to echinocandin-induced stress. : Caplan et al. screen 3,030 Candida albicans mutants to define circuitry governing cellular responses to echinocandins, the first-line therapy for systemic candidiasis. They reveal that the molecular chaperone Hsp90 is required for stability of Pkc1 and Bck1 and that the CCT chaperonin complex is a key modulator of echinocandin susceptibility. Keywords: fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, echinocandins, Hsp90, Pkc1, CCT complex, client protein, stress response, functional genomic screen, drug resistance

  20. Structure-guided mutational analysis reveals the functional requirements for product specificity of DOT1 enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dindar, Gülcin; Anger, Andreas M; Mehlhorn, Christine; Hake, Sandra B; Janzen, Christian J

    2014-11-12

    DOT1 enzymes are conserved methyltransferases that catalyse the methylation of lysine 79 on histone H3 (H3K79). Most eukaryotes contain one DOT1 enzyme, whereas African trypanosomes have two homologues, DOT1A and DOT1B, with different enzymatic activities. DOT1A mediates mono- and dimethylation of H3K76, the homologue of H3K79 in other organisms, whereas DOT1B additionally catalyses H3K76 trimethylation. However, it is unclear how these different enzymatic activities are achieved. Here we employ a trypanosomal nucleosome reconstitution system and structure-guided homology modelling to identify critical residues within and outside the catalytic centre that modulate product specificity. Exchange of these residues transfers the product specificity from one enzyme to the other, and reveals the existence of distinct regulatory domains adjacent to the catalytic centre. Our study provides the first evidence that a few crucial residues in DOT1 enzymes are sufficient to catalyse methyl-state-specific reactions. These results might also have far-reaching consequences for the functional understanding of homologous enzymes in higher eukaryotes.

  1. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  2. Nanobodies targeting norovirus capsid reveal functional epitopes and potential mechanisms of neutralization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna D Koromyslova

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Despite recent developments in norovirus propagation in cell culture, these viruses are still challenging to grow routinely. Moreover, little is known on how norovirus infects the host cells, except that histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs are important binding factors for infection and cell entry. Antibodies that bind at the HBGA pocket and block attachment to HBGAs are believed to neutralize the virus. However, additional neutralization epitopes elsewhere on the capsid likely exist and impeding the intrinsic structural dynamics of the capsid could be equally important. In the current study, we investigated a panel of Nanobodies in order to probe functional epitopes that could trigger capsid rearrangement and/ or interfere with HBGA binding interactions. The precise binding sites of six Nanobodies (Nano-4, Nano-14, Nano-26, Nano-27, Nano-32, and Nano-42 were identified using X-ray crystallography. We showed that these Nanobodies bound on the top, side, and bottom of the norovirus protruding domain. The impact of Nanobody binding on norovirus capsid morphology was analyzed using electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. We discovered that distinct Nanobody epitopes were associated with varied changes in particle structural integrity and assembly. Interestingly, certain Nanobody-induced capsid morphological changes lead to the capsid protein degradation and viral RNA exposure. Moreover, Nanobodies employed multiple inhibition mechanisms to prevent norovirus attachment to HBGAs, which included steric obstruction (Nano-14, allosteric interference (Nano-32, and violation of normal capsid morphology (Nano-26 and Nano-85. Finally, we showed that two Nanobodies (Nano-26 and Nano-85 not only compromised capsid integrity and inhibited VLPs attachment to HBGAs, but also recognized a broad panel of norovirus genotypes with high affinities. Consequently, Nano-26 and Nano-85 have a great

  3. Nanobodies targeting norovirus capsid reveal functional epitopes and potential mechanisms of neutralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Despite recent developments in norovirus propagation in cell culture, these viruses are still challenging to grow routinely. Moreover, little is known on how norovirus infects the host cells, except that histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs) are important binding factors for infection and cell entry. Antibodies that bind at the HBGA pocket and block attachment to HBGAs are believed to neutralize the virus. However, additional neutralization epitopes elsewhere on the capsid likely exist and impeding the intrinsic structural dynamics of the capsid could be equally important. In the current study, we investigated a panel of Nanobodies in order to probe functional epitopes that could trigger capsid rearrangement and/ or interfere with HBGA binding interactions. The precise binding sites of six Nanobodies (Nano-4, Nano-14, Nano-26, Nano-27, Nano-32, and Nano-42) were identified using X-ray crystallography. We showed that these Nanobodies bound on the top, side, and bottom of the norovirus protruding domain. The impact of Nanobody binding on norovirus capsid morphology was analyzed using electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. We discovered that distinct Nanobody epitopes were associated with varied changes in particle structural integrity and assembly. Interestingly, certain Nanobody-induced capsid morphological changes lead to the capsid protein degradation and viral RNA exposure. Moreover, Nanobodies employed multiple inhibition mechanisms to prevent norovirus attachment to HBGAs, which included steric obstruction (Nano-14), allosteric interference (Nano-32), and violation of normal capsid morphology (Nano-26 and Nano-85). Finally, we showed that two Nanobodies (Nano-26 and Nano-85) not only compromised capsid integrity and inhibited VLPs attachment to HBGAs, but also recognized a broad panel of norovirus genotypes with high affinities. Consequently, Nano-26 and Nano-85 have a great potential to

  4. Structural-Functional Analysis Reveals a Specific Domain Organization in Family GH20 Hexosaminidases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Val-Cid, Cristina; Biarnés, Xevi; Faijes, Magda; Planas, Antoni

    2015-01-01

    Hexosaminidases are involved in important biological processes catalyzing the hydrolysis of N-acetyl-hexosaminyl residues in glycosaminoglycans and glycoconjugates. The GH20 enzymes present diverse domain organizations for which we propose two minimal model architectures: Model A containing at least a non-catalytic GH20b domain and the catalytic one (GH20) always accompanied with an extra α-helix (GH20b-GH20-α), and Model B with only the catalytic GH20 domain. The large Bifidobacterium bifidum lacto-N-biosidase was used as a model protein to evaluate the minimal functional unit due to its interest and structural complexity. By expressing different truncated forms of this enzyme, we show that Model A architectures cannot be reduced to Model B. In particular, there are two structural requirements general to GH20 enzymes with Model A architecture. First, the non-catalytic domain GH20b at the N-terminus of the catalytic GH20 domain is required for expression and seems to stabilize it. Second, the substrate-binding cavity at the GH20 domain always involves a remote element provided by a long loop from the catalytic domain itself or, when this loop is short, by an element from another domain of the multidomain structure or from the dimeric partner. Particularly, the lacto-N-biosidase requires GH20b and the lectin-like domain at the N- and C-termini of the catalytic GH20 domain to be fully soluble and functional. The lectin domain provides this remote element to the active site. We demonstrate restoration of activity of the inactive GH20b-GH20-α construct (model A architecture) by a complementation assay with the lectin-like domain. The engineering of minimal functional units of multidomain GH20 enzymes must consider these structural requirements.

  5. A new formulation for the importance function in the kinetics of subcritical reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silva, Cristiano da; Senra Martinez, Aquilino; Carvalho da Silva, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► In this paper we propose a new formulation for the importance function in the kinetics of subcritical systems. ► We analyze the relevance of an external neutron source for the subcritical interval 0.95 eff eff is the multiplication factor according to the physical properties of the nuclear reactor. For the purposes of validation of the proposed method we will use, as a reference method, the expansion in modes of the time-dependent neutron flux for the solution of the onedimensional diffusion equation. It will be presented results that demonstrate the precision of the proposed method when compared to the conventional point kinetic equations. The results show that the new point kinetic equations are rather precise in the subcriticality range considered.

  6. Communication: importance sampling including path correlation in semiclassical initial value representation calculations for time correlation functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Feng; Tao, Guohua

    2013-03-07

    Full semiclassical (SC) initial value representation (IVR) for time correlation functions involves a double phase space average over a set of two phase points, each of which evolves along a classical path. Conventionally, the two initial phase points are sampled independently for all degrees of freedom (DOF) in the Monte Carlo procedure. Here, we present an efficient importance sampling scheme by including the path correlation between the two initial phase points for the bath DOF, which greatly improves the performance of the SC-IVR calculations for large molecular systems. Satisfactory convergence in the study of quantum coherence in vibrational relaxation has been achieved for a benchmark system-bath model with up to 21 DOF.

  7. The Important Role of Carbohydrates in the Flavor, Function, and Formulation of Oral Nutritional Supplements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smaro Kokkinidou

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Patients who are malnourished or at-risk for malnutrition often benefit from the consumption of oral nutritional supplements (ONS. ONS supply a range of micro- and macro-nutrients, and they can be used to supplement a diet or provide total nutrition. Since ONS are specially formulated products, all ONS ingredients—including carbohydrates—are added ingredients. This may seem to be at odds with the growing public health discourse on the need to reduce “added sugars” in the diet. However, carbohydrate is an essential nutrient for human health and is a critical ingredient in ONS. Helping to educate patients on the value of “added sugars” in ONS may be useful to improve compliance with nutritional recommendations when ONS are indicated. This perspective paper reviews the important roles of “added sugars” in ONS, in terms of flavor, function, and product formulation.

  8. New insights into the consequences of post-windthrow salvage logging revealed by functional structure of saproxylic beetles assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Thorn

    Full Text Available Windstorms, bark beetle outbreaks and fires are important natural disturbances in coniferous forests worldwide. Wind-thrown trees promote biodiversity and restoration within production forests, but also cause large economic losses due to bark beetle infestation and accelerated fungal decomposition. Such damaged trees are often removed by salvage logging, which leads to decreased biodiversity and thus increasingly evokes discussions between economists and ecologists about appropriate strategies. To reveal the reasons behind species loss after salvage logging, we used a functional approach based on four habitat-related ecological traits and focused on saproxylic beetles. We predicted that salvage logging would decrease functional diversity (measured as effect sizes of mean pairwise distances using null models as well as mean values of beetle body size, wood diameter niche and canopy cover niche, but would increase decay stage niche. As expected, salvage logging caused a decrease in species richness, but led to an increase in functional diversity by altering the species composition from habitat-filtered assemblages toward random assemblages. Even though salvage logging removes tree trunks, the most negative effects were found for small and heliophilous species and for species specialized on wood of small diameter. Our results suggested that salvage logging disrupts the natural assembly process on windthrown trees and that negative ecological impacts are caused more by microclimate alteration of the dead-wood objects than by loss of resource amount. These insights underline the power of functional approaches to detect ecosystem responses to anthropogenic disturbance and form a basis for management decisions in conservation. To mitigate negative effects on saproxylic beetle diversity after windthrows, we recommend preserving single windthrown trees or at least their tops with exposed branches during salvage logging. Such an extension of the green

  9. New insights into the consequences of post-windthrow salvage logging revealed by functional structure of saproxylic beetles assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorn, Simon; Bässler, Claus; Gottschalk, Thomas; Hothorn, Torsten; Bussler, Heinz; Raffa, Kenneth; Müller, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Windstorms, bark beetle outbreaks and fires are important natural disturbances in coniferous forests worldwide. Wind-thrown trees promote biodiversity and restoration within production forests, but also cause large economic losses due to bark beetle infestation and accelerated fungal decomposition. Such damaged trees are often removed by salvage logging, which leads to decreased biodiversity and thus increasingly evokes discussions between economists and ecologists about appropriate strategies. To reveal the reasons behind species loss after salvage logging, we used a functional approach based on four habitat-related ecological traits and focused on saproxylic beetles. We predicted that salvage logging would decrease functional diversity (measured as effect sizes of mean pairwise distances using null models) as well as mean values of beetle body size, wood diameter niche and canopy cover niche, but would increase decay stage niche. As expected, salvage logging caused a decrease in species richness, but led to an increase in functional diversity by altering the species composition from habitat-filtered assemblages toward random assemblages. Even though salvage logging removes tree trunks, the most negative effects were found for small and heliophilous species and for species specialized on wood of small diameter. Our results suggested that salvage logging disrupts the natural assembly process on windthrown trees and that negative ecological impacts are caused more by microclimate alteration of the dead-wood objects than by loss of resource amount. These insights underline the power of functional approaches to detect ecosystem responses to anthropogenic disturbance and form a basis for management decisions in conservation. To mitigate negative effects on saproxylic beetle diversity after windthrows, we recommend preserving single windthrown trees or at least their tops with exposed branches during salvage logging. Such an extension of the green-tree retention

  10. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package “traitor” to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID:26881747

  11. Phylogenomic detection and functional prediction of genes potentially important for plant meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Luoyan; Kong, Hongzhi; Ma, Hong; Yang, Ji

    2018-02-15

    Meiosis is a specialized type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction in eukaryotes. A better understanding of the cytological procedures of meiosis has been achieved by comprehensive cytogenetic studies in plants, while the genetic mechanisms regulating meiotic progression remain incompletely understood. The increasing accumulation of complete genome sequences and large-scale gene expression datasets has provided a powerful resource for phylogenomic inference and unsupervised identification of genes involved in plant meiosis. By integrating sequence homology and expression data, 164, 131, 124 and 162 genes potentially important for meiosis were identified in the genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Selaginella moellendorffii and Pogonatum aloides, respectively. The predicted genes were assigned to 45 meiotic GO terms, and their functions were related to different processes occurring during meiosis in various organisms. Most of the predicted meiotic genes underwent lineage-specific duplication events during plant evolution, with about 30% of the predicted genes retaining only a single copy in higher plant genomes. The results of this study provided clues to design experiments for better functional characterization of meiotic genes in plants, promoting the phylogenomic approach to the evolutionary dynamics of the plant meiotic machineries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Prognostic Importance of Pretransplant Functional Capacity After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lee W; Devlin, Sean M; Maloy, Molly A; Wood, William A; Tuohy, Sharlynn; Espiritu, Noel; Aquino, Jennifer; Kendig, Tiffany; Michalski, Meghan G; Gyurkocza, Boglarka; Schaffer, Wendy L; Ali, Benzar; Giralt, Sergio; Jakubowski, Ann A

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic importance of functional capacity in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematological malignancies. Using a retrospective design, 407 patients completed a 6-minute walk distance (6 MWD) test to assess functional capacity before HCT; 193 (47%) completed a 6 MWD test after hospital discharge. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the risk of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and overall survival (OS) according to the 6 MWD category (interval, 0.44-0.96) for a 6 MWD ≥ 400 m. A 6 MWD of ≥ 400 m provided incremental information on the prediction of NRM with adjustment for age (p = .032) but not KPS alone (p = .062) or adjustment for other prognostic markers (p = .099). A significant association was found between the 6 MWD and OS (p = .027). A 6 MWD of ≥ 400 m provided incremental information on the prediction of OS with adjustment for age (p = .032) but not for other prognostic markers (p > .05 for all). Patients presenting with a pre-HCT 6 MWD of information beyond that of traditional prognostic markers in HCT. The pretransplant 6-minute walk test is a significant univariate predictor of clinical outcomes in hematological patients beyond age but not beyond that of performance status. On this basis, 6-minute walk distance testing should not be considered part of the standard battery of assessments for risk stratification before hematopoietic cell transplantation. ©AlphaMed Press.

  13. Disease-associated mutations disrupt functionally important regions of intrinsic protein disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Vacic

    Full Text Available The effects of disease mutations on protein structure and function have been extensively investigated, and many predictors of the functional impact of single amino acid substitutions are publicly available. The majority of these predictors are based on protein structure and evolutionary conservation, following the assumption that disease mutations predominantly affect folded and conserved protein regions. However, the prevalence of the intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs and regions (IDRs in the human proteome together with their lack of fixed structure and low sequence conservation raise a question about the impact of disease mutations in IDRs. Here, we investigate annotated missense disease mutations and show that 21.7% of them are located within such intrinsically disordered regions. We further demonstrate that 20% of disease mutations in IDRs cause local disorder-to-order transitions, which represents a 1.7-2.7 fold increase compared to annotated polymorphisms and neutral evolutionary substitutions, respectively. Secondary structure predictions show elevated rates of transition from helices and strands into loops and vice versa in the disease mutations dataset. Disease disorder-to-order mutations also influence predicted molecular recognition features (MoRFs more often than the control mutations. The repertoire of disorder-to-order transition mutations is limited, with five most frequent mutations (R→W, R→C, E→K, R→H, R→Q collectively accounting for 44% of all deleterious disorder-to-order transitions. As a proof of concept, we performed accelerated molecular dynamics simulations on a deleterious disorder-to-order transition mutation of tumor protein p63 and, in agreement with our predictions, observed an increased α-helical propensity of the region harboring the mutation. Our findings highlight the importance of mutations in IDRs and refine the traditional structure-centric view of disease mutations. The results of this study

  14. Contractile Defect Caused by Mutation in MYBPC3 Revealed under Conditions Optimized for Human PSC-Cardiomyocyte Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Birket

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Maximizing baseline function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs is essential for their effective application in models of cardiac toxicity and disease. Here, we aimed to identify factors that would promote an adequate level of function to permit robust single-cell contractility measurements in a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM. A simple screen revealed the collaborative effects of thyroid hormone, IGF-1 and the glucocorticoid analog dexamethasone on the electrophysiology, bioenergetics, and contractile force generation of hPSC-CMs. In this optimized condition, hiPSC-CMs with mutations in MYBPC3, a gene encoding myosin-binding protein C, which, when mutated, causes HCM, showed significantly lower contractile force generation than controls. This was recapitulated by direct knockdown of MYBPC3 in control hPSC-CMs, supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency. Modeling this disease in vitro using human cells is an important step toward identifying therapeutic interventions for HCM.

  15. Remote Sensing of plant functional types: Relative importance of biochemical and structural plant traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Monitoring ecosystems is a key priority in order to understand vegetation patterns, underlying resource cycles and changes their off. Driven by biotic and abiotic factors, plant species within an ecosystem are likely to share similar structural, physiological or phenological traits and can therefore be grouped into plant functional types (PFT). It can be assumed that plants which share similar traits also share similar optical characteristics. Therefore optical remote sensing was identified as a valuable tool for differentiating PFT. Although several authors list structural and biochemical plant traits which are important for differentiating PFT using hyperspectral remote sensing, there is no quantitative or qualitative information on the relative importance of these traits. Thus, little is known about the explicit role of plant traits for an optical discrimination of PFT. One of the main reasons for this is that various optical traits affect the same wavelength regions and it is therefore difficult to isolate the discriminative power of a single trait. A way to determine the effect of single plant traits on the optical reflectance of plant canopies is given by radiative transfer models. The most established radiative transfer model is PROSAIL, which incorporates biochemical and structural plant traits, such as pigment contents or leaf area index. In the present study 25 grassland species of different PFT were cultivated and traits relevant for PROSAIL were measured for the entire vegetation season of 2016. The information content of each trait for differentiating PFTs was determined by applying a Multi-response Permutation Procedure on the actual traits, as well as on simulated canopy spectra derived from PROSAIL. According to our results some traits, especially biochemical traits, show a weaker separability of PFT on a spectral level than compared to the actual trait measurements. Overall structural traits (leaf angle and leaf area index) are more important for

  16. Functional importance of GLP-1 receptor species and expression levels in cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knudsen, Lotte Bjerre; Hastrup, Sven; Underwood, Christina Rye; Wulff, Birgitte Schjellerup; Fleckner, Jan

    2012-04-10

    Of the mammalian species, only the GLP-1 receptors of rat and human origin have been described and characterized. Here, we report the cloning of the homologous GLP-1 receptors from mouse, rabbit, pig, cynomolgus monkey and chimp. The GLP-1 receptor is highly conserved across species, thus underlining the physiological importance of the peptide hormone and its receptor across a wide range of mammals. We expressed the receptors by stable transfection of BHK cells, both in cell lines with high expression levels of the cloned receptors, as well as in cell lines with lower expression levels, more comparable to endogenous expression of these receptors. High expression levels of cloned GLP-1 receptors markedly increased the potency of GLP-1 and other high affinity ligands, whereas the K(d) values were not affected. For a low affinity ligand like the ago-allosteric modulator Compound 2, expression levels of the human GLP-1 receptor were important for maximal efficacy as well as potency. The two natural metabolites of GLP-1, GLP-1(9-37) and GLP-1(9-36)amide were agonists when tested on a cell line with high expression of the recombinant human GLP-1 receptor, whereas they behaved as (low potent) antagonists on a cell line that expressed the receptor endogenously, as well as cells expressing a moderate level of the recombinant human GLP-1 receptor. The amide form was a more potent agonist than the free acid from. In conclusion, receptor expression level is an important parametre for selecting cell lines with cloned GLP-1 receptors for functional characterization of physiological and pharmaceutical ligands. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Solanum venturii, a suitable model system for virus-induced gene silencing studies in potato reveals StMKK6 as an important player in plant immunity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dobnik, David; Lazar, Ana; Stare, Tjaša; Gruden, Kristina; Vleeshouwers, Vivianne G.A.A.; Žel, Jana

    2016-01-01

    Background: Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an optimal tool for functional analysis of genes in plants, as the viral vector spreads throughout the plant and causes reduced expression of selected gene over the whole plant. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the most important food crops,

  18. Proteomic Profiles Reveal the Function of Different Vegetative Tissues of Moringa oleifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Zou, Qiong; Wang, Jinxing; Zhang, Junjie; Liu, Zeping; Chen, Xiaoyang

    2016-12-01

    Moringa oleifera is a rich source of bioactive compounds and is widely used in traditional medicine and food for its nutritional value; however, the protein and peptide components of different tissues are rarely discussed. Here, we describe the first investigation of M. oleifera proteomes using mass spectrometry and bioinformatics methods. We aimed to elucidate the protein profiles of M. oleifera leaves, stem, bark, and root. Totally 202 proteins were identified from four vegetative organs. We identified 101 proteins from leaves, 51 from stem, 94 from bark and 67 from root, finding that only five proteins existed in both four vegetative parts. The calculated pI of most of the proteins is distributed in 5-10 and the molecular weight distributed below 100 kDa. Functional classification analysis revealed that proteins which are involved in catalytic activities are the most abundant both in leaves, stem, bark and root. Identification of several heat shock proteins in four vegetative tissues might be adaptive for resistance to high temperature environmental stresses of tropical or subtropical areas. Some enzymes involved in antioxidant processes were also identified in M. oleifera leaves, stem, bark and root. Among the four tissues studies here, leaves protein content and molecular diversity were the highest. The identification of the flocculating protein MO2.1 and MO2.2 in the bark and root provides clue to clarify the antimicrobial molecular mechanisms of root and bark. This study provides information on the protein compositions of M. oleifera vegetative tissues that will be beneficial for potential drug and food supplement development and plant physiology research.

  19. Epileptic Networks in Focal Cortical Dysplasia Revealed Using Electroencephalography–Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Rachel; Vulliemoz, Serge; Rodionov, Roman; Carmichael, David W; Chaudhary, Umair J; Diehl, Beate; Laufs, Helmut; Vollmar, Christian; McEvoy, Andrew W; Walker, Matthew C; Bartolomei, Fabrice; Guye, Maxime; Chauvel, Patrick; Duncan, John S; Lemieux, Louis

    2011-01-01

    Objective Surgical treatment of focal epilepsy in patients with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is most successful if all epileptogenic tissue is resected. This may not be evident on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), so intracranial electroencephalography (icEEG) is needed to delineate the seizure onset zone (SOZ). EEG-functional MRI (fMRI) can reveal interictal discharge (IED)-related hemodynamic changes in the irritative zone (IZ). We assessed the value of EEG-fMRI in patients with FCD-associated focal epilepsy by examining the relationship between IED-related hemodynamic changes, icEEG findings, and postoperative outcome. Methods Twenty-three patients with FCD-associated focal epilepsy undergoing presurgical evaluation including icEEG underwent simultaneous EEG-fMRI at 3T. IED-related hemodynamic changes were modeled, and results were overlaid on coregistered T1-weighted MRI scans fused with computed tomography scans showing the intracranial electrodes. IED-related hemodynamic changes were compared with the SOZ on icEEG and postoperative outcome at 1 year. Results Twelve of 23 patients had IEDs during recording, and 11 of 12 had significant IED-related hemodynamic changes. The fMRI results were concordant with the SOZ in 5 of 11 patients, all of whom had a solitary SOZ on icEEG. Four of 5 had >50% reduction in seizure frequency following resective surgery. The remaining 6 of 11 patients had widespread or discordant regions of IED-related fMRI signal change. Five of 6 had either a poor surgical outcome (<50% reduction in seizure frequency) or widespread SOZ precluding surgery. Interpretation Comparison of EEG-fMRI with icEEG suggests that EEG-fMRI may provide useful additional information about the SOZ in FCD. Widely distributed discordant regions of IED-related hemodynamic change appear to be associated with a widespread SOZ and poor postsurgical outcome. ANN NEUROL 2011 PMID:22162063

  20. Nicotinic Receptor Alpha7 Expression during Tooth Morphogenesis Reveals Functional Pleiotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Scott W.; Gahring, Lorise C.

    2012-01-01

    The expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype, alpha7, was investigated in the developing teeth of mice that were modified through homologous recombination to express a bi-cistronic IRES-driven tau-enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP); alpha7GFP) or IRES-Cre (alpha7Cre). The expression of alpha7GFP was detected first in cells of the condensing mesenchyme at embryonic (E) day E13.5 where it intensifies through E14.5. This expression ends abruptly at E15.5, but was again observed in ameloblasts of incisors at E16.5 or molar ameloblasts by E17.5–E18.5. This expression remains detectable until molar enamel deposition is completed or throughout life as in the constantly erupting mouse incisors. The expression of alpha7GFP also identifies all stages of innervation of the tooth organ. Ablation of the alpha7-cell lineage using a conditional alpha7Cre×ROSA26-LoxP(diphtheria toxin A) strategy substantially reduced the mesenchyme and this corresponded with excessive epithelium overgrowth consistent with an instructive role by these cells during ectoderm patterning. However, alpha7knock-out (KO) mice exhibited normal tooth size and shape indicating that under normal conditions alpha7 expression is dispensable to this process. The function of ameloblasts in alpha7KO mice is altered relative to controls. High resolution micro-computed tomography analysis of adult mandibular incisors revealed enamel volume of the alpha7KO was significantly reduced and the organization of enamel rods was altered relative to controls. These results demonstrate distinct and varied spatiotemporal expression of alpha7 during tooth development, and they suggest that dysfunction of this receptor would have diverse impacts upon the adult organ. PMID:22666322

  1. Functional Coding Variation in Recombinant Inbred Mouse Lines Reveals Novel Serotonin Transporter-Associated Phenotypes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carneiro, Ana [Vanderbilt University; Airey, David [University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis; Thompson, Brent [Vanderbilt University; Zhu, C [Vanderbilt University; Rinchik, Eugene M [ORNL; Lu, Lu [University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis; Chesler, Elissa J [ORNL; Erikson, Keith [University of North Carolina; Blakely, Randy [Vanderbilt University

    2009-01-01

    The human serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) transporter (hSERT, SLC6A4) figures prominently in the etiology or treatment of many prevalent neurobehavioral disorders including anxiety, alcoholism, depression, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here we utilize naturally occurring polymorphisms in recombinant inbred (RI) lines to identify novel phenotypes associated with altered SERT function. The widely used mouse strain C57BL/6J, harbors a SERT haplotype defined by two nonsynonymous coding variants (Gly39 and Lys152 (GK)). At these positions, many other mouse lines, including DBA/2J, encode Glu39 and Arg152 (ER haplotype), assignments found also in hSERT. Synaptosomal 5-HT transport studies revealed reduced uptake associated with the GK variant. Heterologous expression studies confirmed a reduced SERT turnover rate for the GK variant. Experimental and in silico approaches using RI lines (C57Bl/6J X DBA/2J=BXD) identifies multiple anatomical, biochemical and behavioral phenotypes specifically impacted by GK/ER variation. Among our findings are multiple traits associated with anxiety and alcohol consumption, as well as of the control of dopamine (DA) signaling. Further bioinformatic analysis of BXD phenotypes, combined with biochemical evaluation of SERT knockout mice, nominates SERT-dependent 5-HT signaling as a major determinant of midbrain iron homeostasis that, in turn, dictates ironregulated DA phenotypes. Our studies provide a novel example of the power of coordinated in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches using murine RI lines to elucidate and quantify the system-level impact of gene variation.

  2. Expression analysis of Arabidopsis vacuolar sorting receptor 3 reveals a putative function in guard cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avila, Emily L; Brown, Michelle; Pan, Songqin; Desikan, Radhika; Neill, Steven J; Girke, Thomas; Surpin, Marci; Raikhel, Natasha V

    2008-01-01

    Vacuolar sorting receptors (VSRs) are responsible for the proper targeting of soluble cargo proteins to their destination compartments. The Arabidopsis genome encodes seven VSRs. In this work, the spatio-temporal expression of one of the members of this gene family, AtVSR3, was determined by RT-PCR and promoter::reporter gene fusions. AtVSR3 was expressed specifically in guard cells. Consequently, a reverse genetics approach was taken to determine the function of AtVSR3 by using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Plants expressing little or no AtVSR3 transcript had a compressed life cycle, bolting approximately 1 week earlier and senescing up to 2 weeks earlier than the wild-type parent line. While the development and distribution of stomata in AtVSR3 RNAi plants appeared normal, stomatal function was altered. The guard cells of mutant plants did not close in response to abscisic acid treatment, and the mean leaf temperatures of the RNAi plants were on average 0.8 degrees C lower than both wild type and another vacuolar sorting receptor mutant, atvsr1-1. Furthermore, the loss of AtVSR3 protein caused the accumulation of nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide, signalling molecules implicated in the regulation of stomatal opening and closing. Finally, proteomics and western blot analyses of cellular proteins isolated from wild-type and AtVSR3 RNAi leaves showed that phospholipase Dgamma, which may play a role in abscisic acid signalling, accumulated to higher levels in AtVSR3 RNAi guard cells. Thus, AtVSR3 may play an important role in responses to plant stress.

  3. Structure-function analysis of Staphylococcus aureus amidase reveals the determinants of peptidoglycan recognition and cleavage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Felix Michael; Zoll, Sebastian; Nega, Mulugeta; Götz, Friedrich; Stehle, Thilo

    2014-04-18

    The bifunctional major autolysin AtlA of Staphylococcus aureus cleaves the bacterium's peptidoglycan network (PGN) at two distinct sites during cell division. Deletion of the enzyme results in large cell clusters with disordered division patterns, indicating that AtlA could be a promising target for the development of new antibiotics. One of the two functions of AtlA is performed by the N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidase AmiA, which cleaves the bond between the carbohydrate and the peptide moieties of PGN. To establish the structural requirements of PGN recognition and the enzymatic mechanism of cleavage, we solved the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of AmiA (AmiA-cat) in complex with a peptidoglycan-derived ligand at 1.55 Å resolution. The peptide stem is clearly visible in the structure, forming extensive contacts with protein residues by docking into an elongated groove. Less well defined electron density and the analysis of surface features indicate likely positions of the carbohydrate backbone and the pentaglycine bridge. Substrate specificity analysis supports the importance of the pentaglycine bridge for fitting into the binding cleft of AmiA-cat. PGN of S. aureus with l-lysine tethered with d-alanine via a pentaglycine bridge is completely hydrolyzed, whereas PGN of Bacillus subtilis with meso-diaminopimelic acid directly tethered with d-alanine is not hydrolyzed. An active site mutant, H370A, of AmiA-cat was completely inactive, providing further support for the proposed catalytic mechanism of AmiA. The structure reported here is not only the first of any bacterial amidase in which both the PGN component and the water molecule that carries out the nucleophilic attack on the carbonyl carbon of the scissile bond are present; it is also the first peptidoglycan amidase complex structure of an important human pathogen.

  4. Computer animations of color markings reveal the function of visual threat signals in Neolamprologus pulcher.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzarini, Valentina; Taborsky, Michael; Villa, Fabienne; Frommen, Joachim G

    2017-02-01

    Visual signals, including changes in coloration and color patterns, are frequently used by animals to convey information. During contests, body coloration and its changes can be used to assess an opponent's state or motivation. Communication of aggressive propensity is particularly important in group-living animals with a stable dominance hierarchy, as the outcome of aggressive interactions determines the social rank of group members. Neolamprologus pulcher is a cooperatively breeding cichlid showing frequent within-group aggression. Both sexes exhibit two vertical black stripes on the operculum that vary naturally in shape and darkness. During frontal threat displays these patterns are actively exposed to the opponent, suggesting a signaling function. To investigate the role of operculum stripes during contests we manipulated their darkness in computer animated pictures of the fish. We recorded the responses in behavior and stripe darkness of test subjects to which these animated pictures were presented. Individuals with initially darker stripes were more aggressive against the animations and showed more operculum threat displays. Operculum stripes of test subjects became darker after exposure to an animation exhibiting a pale operculum than after exposure to a dark operculum animation, highlighting the role of the darkness of this color pattern in opponent assessment. We conclude that (i) the black stripes on the operculum of N. pulcher are a reliable signal of aggression and dominance, (ii) these markings play an important role in opponent assessment, and (iii) 2D computer animations are well suited to elicit biologically meaningful short-term aggressive responses in this widely used model system of social evolution.

  5. Structure-Function Analysis of Staphylococcus aureus Amidase Reveals the Determinants of Peptidoglycan Recognition and Cleavage*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Felix Michael; Zoll, Sebastian; Nega, Mulugeta; Götz, Friedrich; Stehle, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    The bifunctional major autolysin AtlA of Staphylococcus aureus cleaves the bacterium's peptidoglycan network (PGN) at two distinct sites during cell division. Deletion of the enzyme results in large cell clusters with disordered division patterns, indicating that AtlA could be a promising target for the development of new antibiotics. One of the two functions of AtlA is performed by the N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidase AmiA, which cleaves the bond between the carbohydrate and the peptide moieties of PGN. To establish the structural requirements of PGN recognition and the enzymatic mechanism of cleavage, we solved the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of AmiA (AmiA-cat) in complex with a peptidoglycan-derived ligand at 1.55 Å resolution. The peptide stem is clearly visible in the structure, forming extensive contacts with protein residues by docking into an elongated groove. Less well defined electron density and the analysis of surface features indicate likely positions of the carbohydrate backbone and the pentaglycine bridge. Substrate specificity analysis supports the importance of the pentaglycine bridge for fitting into the binding cleft of AmiA-cat. PGN of S. aureus with l-lysine tethered with d-alanine via a pentaglycine bridge is completely hydrolyzed, whereas PGN of Bacillus subtilis with meso-diaminopimelic acid directly tethered with d-alanine is not hydrolyzed. An active site mutant, H370A, of AmiA-cat was completely inactive, providing further support for the proposed catalytic mechanism of AmiA. The structure reported here is not only the first of any bacterial amidase in which both the PGN component and the water molecule that carries out the nucleophilic attack on the carbonyl carbon of the scissile bond are present; it is also the first peptidoglycan amidase complex structure of an important human pathogen. PMID:24599952

  6. Metatranscriptome Sequencing Reveals Insights into the Gene Expression and Functional Potential of Rumen Wall Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyne Mann

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbiota of the rumen wall constitute an important niche of rumen microbial ecology and their composition has been elucidated in different ruminants during the last years. However, the knowledge about the function of rumen wall microbes is still limited. Rumen wall biopsies were taken from three fistulated dairy cows under a standard forage-based diet and after 4 weeks of high concentrate feeding inducing a subacute rumen acidosis (SARA. Extracted RNA was used for metatranscriptome sequencing using Illumina HiSeq sequencing technology. The gene expression of the rumen wall microbial community was analyzed by mapping 35 million sequences against the Kyoto Encyclopedia for Genes and Genomes (KEGG database and determining differentially expressed genes. A total of 1,607 functional features were assigned with high expression of genes involved in central metabolism, galactose, starch and sucrose metabolism. The glycogen phosphorylase (EC:2.4.1.1 which degrades (1->4-alpha-D-glucans was among the highest expressed genes being transcribed by 115 bacterial genera. Energy metabolism genes were also highly expressed, including the pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (EC:2.7.9.1 involved in pyruvate metabolism, which was covered by 177 genera. Nitrogen metabolism genes, in particular glutamate dehydrogenase (EC:1.4.1.4, glutamine synthetase (EC:6.3.1.2 and glutamate synthase (EC:1.4.1.13, EC:1.4.1.14 were also found to be highly expressed and prove rumen wall microbiota to be actively involved in providing host-relevant metabolites for exchange across the rumen wall. In addition, we found all four urease subunits (EC:3.5.1.5 transcribed by members of the genera Flavobacterium, Corynebacterium, Helicobacter, Clostridium, and Bacillus, and the dissimilatory sulfate reductase (EC 1.8.99.5 dsrABC, which is responsible for the reduction of sulfite to sulfide. We also provide in situ evidence for cellulose and cellobiose degradation, a key step in fiber-rich feed

  7. The importance of masticatory functional analysis in the diagnostic finding and treatment planning for prosthodontic rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry Laksono

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The masticatory system as a biologic system is subjected to harmful influences of varying severity. Almost half of routine patients requesting prosthodontic treatment indicated at least one sign or symptom of temporomandibular disorders. Analysis of the masticatory system often neglected by dentist. Untreated temporomandibular disorders may significantly implicated in the perpetuation of the disorder and may interfere with routine prosthodontic clinical procedures. It would be resulted unsuccessful long term goal of prosthodontic rehabilitation because of the uncompleted diagnoses and treatment plan. Purpose: The purpose of this case report was to give the information of the importance of masticatory functional analysis in the diagnostic finding for treatment planning in the prosthodontic rehabilitation. Case: A 45 year - old male patient, partial dentate with reduced chewing efficiency, mild pain in right preauricular region in function, left click in opening mouth, severe attrition on all anterior lower teeth with vertical dimension of occlusion decreased due to loss of posterior support. He wanted to make a new denture. Case management: Record and analyze of active and passive mandibular movement, opening pathway, muscle and temporomandibular joints palpation, load testing, and vertical dimension of occlusion with manual functional analysis (MFA, occlusal condition and radiographic examination. Treatment plan was formulated into 3 phases: stabilization of the masticatory system, definitive treatment and periodical control. The result of this treatment excellent for 1 year evaluation after permanent cementation. Conclusion: Masticatory functional analysis is very important and must be done in the diagnosis finding for treatment planning in every case of prosthodontic rehabilitation.Latar belakang: Sistem pengunyahan sebagai sistem biologis sewaktu-waktu dapat terjadi gangguan dengan berbagai derajat keparahan. Hampir setengah dari

  8. Arthropod Diversity and Functional Importance in Old-Growth Forests of North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Schowalter

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Old-growth forests have become rare in North America but provide habitat for unique assemblages of species that often are rare in younger forests. Insects and related arthropods reach their highest diversity in old-growth forests because of their stable moderate temperature and relative humidity and the rich variety of resources represented by high plant species richness and structural complexity. Old-growth arthropod assemblages typically are distinct from those in younger, managed forests. Major subcommunities include the arboreal community that is composed of a rich assemblage of herbivores, fungivores, and their associated predators and parasitoids that function to regulate primary production and nutrient fluxes, the stem zone community that includes bark- and wood-boring species and their associated predators and parasitoids that initiate the decomposition of coarse woody debris, and the forest floor community composed of a variety of detritivores, fungivores, burrowers, and their associated predators and parasitoids that are instrumental in litter decomposition. Insect outbreaks are relatively rare in old-growth forests, where the diversity of resources and predators limit population growth. In turn, insects contribute to plant diversity and limit primary production of host plant species, thereby promoting development of old-growth forest characteristics. Arthropods also provide important functions in decomposition and nutrient cycling that may be lost in younger, managed forests with limited provision of coarse woody debris and accumulated litter. Protection of remnant old-growth forests within the forest matrix may be particularly valuable for maintaining the diversity of plant and arthropod predators that can minimize outbreaks, thereby contributing to resilience to changing environmental conditions.

  9. Identification of a disulfide bridge important for transport function of SNAT4 neutral amino acid transporter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rugmani Padmanabhan Iyer

    Full Text Available SNAT4 is a member of system N/A amino acid transport family that primarily expresses in liver and muscles and mediates the transport of L-alanine. However, little is known about the structure and function of the SNAT family of transporters. In this study, we showed a dose-dependent inhibition in transporter activity of SNAT4 with the treatment of reducing agents, dithiothreitol (DTT and Tris(2-carboxyethylphosphine (TCEP, indicating the possible involvement of disulfide bridge(s. Mutation of residue Cys-232, and the two highly conserved residues Cys-249 and Cys-321, compromised the transport function of SNAT4. However, this reduction was not caused by the decrease of SNAT4 on the cell surface since the cysteine-null mutant generated by replacing all five cysteines with alanine was equally capable of being expressed on the cell surface as wild-type SNAT4. Interestingly, by retaining two cysteine residues, 249 and 321, a significant level of L-alanine uptake was restored, indicating the possible formation of disulfide bond between these two conserved residues. Biotinylation crosslinking of free thiol groups with MTSEA-biotin provided direct evidence for the existence of a disulfide bridge between Cys-249 and Cys-321. Moreover, in the presence of DTT or TCEP, transport activity of the mutant retaining Cys-249 and Cys-321 was reduced in a dose-dependent manner and this reduction is gradually recovered with increased concentration of H2O2. Disruption of the disulfide bridge also decreased the transport of L-arginine, but to a lesser degree than that of L-alanine. Together, these results suggest that cysteine residues 249 and 321 form a disulfide bridge, which plays an important role in substrate transport but has no effect on trafficking of SNAT4 to the cell surface.

  10. The Microbiome of Seriola lalandi of Wild and Aquaculture Origin Reveals Differences in Composition and Potential Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Ramírez

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Seriola lalandi is an economically important species that is globally distributed in temperate and subtropical marine waters. Aquaculture production of this species has had problems associated with intensive fish farming, such as disease outbreaks or nutritional deficiencies causing high mortalities. Intestinal microbiota has been involved in many processes that benefit the host, such as disease control, stimulation of the immune response, and the promotion of nutrient metabolism, among others. However, little is known about the potential functionality of the microbiota and the differences in the composition between wild and aquacultured fish. Here, we assayed the V4-region of the 16S rRNA gene using high-throughput sequencing. Our results showed that there are significant differences between S. lalandi of wild and aquaculture origin (ANOSIM and PERMANOVA, P < 0.05. At the genus level, a total of 13 genera were differentially represented between the two groups, all of which have been described as beneficial microorganisms that have an antagonistic effect against pathogenic bacteria, improve immunological parameters and growth performance, and contribute to nutrition. Additionally, the changes in the presumptive functions of the intestinal microbiota of yellowtail were examined by predicting the metagenomes using PICRUSt. The most abundant functional categories were those corresponding to the metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, amino acid metabolism and carbohydrate metabolism, revealing differences in the contribution of the microbiota depending on the origin of the animals. To our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize and compare the intestinal microbiota of S. lalandi of wild and aquaculture origin using high-throughput sequencing.

  11. The Microbiome of Seriola lalandi of Wild and Aquaculture Origin Reveals Differences in Composition and Potential Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Carolina; Romero, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Seriola lalandi is an economically important species that is globally distributed in temperate and subtropical marine waters. Aquaculture production of this species has had problems associated with intensive fish farming, such as disease outbreaks or nutritional deficiencies causing high mortalities. Intestinal microbiota has been involved in many processes that benefit the host, such as disease control, stimulation of the immune response, and the promotion of nutrient metabolism, among others. However, little is known about the potential functionality of the microbiota and the differences in the composition between wild and aquacultured fish. Here, we assayed the V4-region of the 16S rRNA gene using high-throughput sequencing. Our results showed that there are significant differences between S. lalandi of wild and aquaculture origin (ANOSIM and PERMANOVA, P < 0.05). At the genus level, a total of 13 genera were differentially represented between the two groups, all of which have been described as beneficial microorganisms that have an antagonistic effect against pathogenic bacteria, improve immunological parameters and growth performance, and contribute to nutrition. Additionally, the changes in the presumptive functions of the intestinal microbiota of yellowtail were examined by predicting the metagenomes using PICRUSt. The most abundant functional categories were those corresponding to the metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, amino acid metabolism and carbohydrate metabolism, revealing differences in the contribution of the microbiota depending on the origin of the animals. To our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize and compare the intestinal microbiota of S. lalandi of wild and aquaculture origin using high-throughput sequencing.

  12. Genome-wide identification of polycomb target genes reveals a functional association of Pho with Scm in Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiqing; Cheng, Daojun; Mon, Hiroaki; Tatsuke, Tsuneyuki; Zhu, Li; Xu, Jian; Lee, Jae Man; Xia, Qingyou; Kusakabe, Takahiro

    2012-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are evolutionarily conserved chromatin modifiers and act together in three multimeric complexes, Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), and Pleiohomeotic repressive complex (PhoRC), to repress transcription of the target genes. Here, we identified Polycomb target genes in Bombyx mori with holocentric centromere using genome-wide expression screening based on the knockdown of BmSCE, BmESC, BmPHO, or BmSCM gene, which represent the distinct complexes. As a result, the expressions of 29 genes were up-regulated after knocking down 4 PcG genes. Particularly, there is a significant overlap between targets of BmPho (331 out of 524) and BmScm (331 out of 532), and among these, 190 genes function as regulator factors playing important roles in development. We also found that BmPho, as well as BmScm, can interact with other Polycomb components examined in this study. Further detailed analysis revealed that the C-terminus of BmPho containing zinc finger domain is involved in the interaction between BmPho and BmScm. Moreover, the zinc finger domain in BmPho contributes to its inhibitory function and ectopic overexpression of BmScm is able to promote transcriptional repression by Gal4-Pho fusions including BmScm-interacting domain. Loss of BmPho expression causes relocalization of BmScm into the cytoplasm. Collectively, we provide evidence of a functional link between BmPho and BmScm, and propose two Polycomb-related repression mechanisms requiring only BmPho associated with BmScm or a whole set of PcG complexes.

  13. Genome-wide identification of polycomb target genes reveals a functional association of Pho with Scm in Bombyx mori.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqing Li

    Full Text Available Polycomb group (PcG proteins are evolutionarily conserved chromatin modifiers and act together in three multimeric complexes, Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1, Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2, and Pleiohomeotic repressive complex (PhoRC, to repress transcription of the target genes. Here, we identified Polycomb target genes in Bombyx mori with holocentric centromere using genome-wide expression screening based on the knockdown of BmSCE, BmESC, BmPHO, or BmSCM gene, which represent the distinct complexes. As a result, the expressions of 29 genes were up-regulated after knocking down 4 PcG genes. Particularly, there is a significant overlap between targets of BmPho (331 out of 524 and BmScm (331 out of 532, and among these, 190 genes function as regulator factors playing important roles in development. We also found that BmPho, as well as BmScm, can interact with other Polycomb components examined in this study. Further detailed analysis revealed that the C-terminus of BmPho containing zinc finger domain is involved in the interaction between BmPho and BmScm. Moreover, the zinc finger domain in BmPho contributes to its inhibitory function and ectopic overexpression of BmScm is able to promote transcriptional repression by Gal4-Pho fusions including BmScm-interacting domain. Loss of BmPho expression causes relocalization of BmScm into the cytoplasm. Collectively, we provide evidence of a functional link between BmPho and BmScm, and propose two Polycomb-related repression mechanisms requiring only BmPho associated with BmScm or a whole set of PcG complexes.

  14. Functional importance of different patterns of correlation between adjacent cassette exons in human and mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Tao; Xue, Chenghai; Bi, Jianning; Li, Tingting; Wang, Xiaowo; Zhang, Xuegong; Li, Yanda

    2008-04-26

    Alternative splicing expands transcriptome diversity and plays an important role in regulation of gene expression. Previous studies focus on the regulation of a single cassette exon, but recent experiments indicate that multiple cassette exons within a gene may interact with each other. This interaction can increase the potential to generate various transcripts and adds an extra layer of complexity to gene regulation. Several cases of exon interaction have been discovered. However, the extent to which the cassette exons coordinate with each other remains unknown. Based on EST data, we employed a metric of correlation coefficients to describe the interaction between two adjacent cassette exons and then categorized these exon pairs into three different groups by their interaction (correlation) patterns. Sequence analysis demonstrates that strongly-correlated groups are more conserved and contain a higher proportion of pairs with reading frame preservation in a combinatorial manner. Multiple genome comparison further indicates that different groups of correlated pairs have different evolutionary courses: (1) The vast majority of positively-correlated pairs are old, (2) most of the weakly-correlated pairs are relatively young, and (3) negatively-correlated pairs are a mixture of old and young events. We performed a large-scale analysis of interactions between adjacent cassette exons. Compared with weakly-correlated pairs, the strongly-correlated pairs, including both the positively and negatively correlated ones, show more evidence that they are under delicate splicing control and tend to be functionally important. Additionally, the positively-correlated pairs bear strong resemblance to constitutive exons, which suggests that they may evolve from ancient constitutive exons, while negatively and weakly correlated pairs are more likely to contain newly emerging exons.

  15. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Jansson, Janet K; Hopkins, David W; Aspray, Thomas J; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO 2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  16. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Jansson, Janet K.; Hopkins, David W.; Aspray, Thomas J.; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I.; Cowan, Don A.

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  17. Revealing Soil Structure and Functional Macroporosity along a Clay Gradient Using X-ray Computed Tomography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2013-01-01

    clay content, respectively) at a field site in Lerbjerg, Denmark. The water-holding capacity of soils markedly increased with increasing soil clay content, while significantly higher air permeability was observed for the L1 to L3 soils than for the L4 to L6 soils. Higher air permeability values......The influence of clay content in soil-pore structure development and the relative importance of macroporosity in governing convective fluid flow are two key challenges toward better understanding and quantifying soil ecosystem functions. In this study, soil physical measurements (soil-water...... retention and air permeability) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning were combined and used from two scales on intact soil columns (100 and 580 cm3). The columns were sampled along a natural clay gradient at six locations (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and L6 with 0.11, 0.16, 0.21, 0.32, 0.38 and 0.46 kg kg−1...

  18. Inulin and Oligofructosis: a review about functional properties, prebiotic effects and importance for food industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Celia de Oliveira Hauly

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays consumers are more conscious about the relation between food and health. Therefore food industry has been looking for food that has a lot of benefits besides good flavor and appearance. Inulin and oligofructose are fructose polimers, vastly found in plants as storage carbohydrates. They present important functional for the food industry. Both inulin and oligofructose have been used as fiber bulk in food products. Differently from other fibers, they do not add flavor, allowing the food to be improved without changing its viscosity. Inulin and oligofructose have similar nutritional properties. Inulin is more indicated for obtaining products with a low fat content such as ice cream, cake and soup, while oligofructose is indicated for yogurt with a low caloric value and in order to mask the residual flavor from high intensity sweeteners used in food preparation. Research has shown that inulin and oligofructose have prebiotic effects because they are not digestible and they can develop bifidogenic effects, improving the intestinal microflora. The simultaneous use of inulin and oligofructose with probiotic agents in food is recommended for symbiotic effects.

  19. Deacetylation of topoisomerase I is an important physiological function of E. coli CobB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qingxuan; Zhou, Yan Ning; Jin, Ding Jun

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Escherichia coli topoisomerase I (TopA), a regulator of global and local DNA supercoiling, is modified by Nε-Lysine acetylation. The NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase CobB can reverse both enzymatic and non-enzymatic lysine acetylation modification in E. coli. Here, we show that the absence of CobB in a ΔcobB mutant reduces intracellular TopA catalytic activity and increases negative DNA supercoiling. TopA expression level is elevated as topA transcription responds to the increased negative supercoiling. The slow growth phenotype of the ΔcobB mutant can be partially compensated by further increase of intracellular TopA level via overexpression of recombinant TopA. The relaxation activity of purified TopA is decreased by in vitro non-enzymatic acetyl phosphate mediated lysine acetylation, and the presence of purified CobB protects TopA from inactivation by such non-enzymatic acetylation. The specific activity of TopA expressed from His-tagged fusion construct in the chromosome is inversely proportional to the degree of in vivo lysine acetylation during growth transition and growth arrest. These findings demonstrate that E. coli TopA catalytic activity can be modulated by lysine acetylation–deacetylation, and prevention of TopA inactivation from excess lysine acetylation and consequent increase in negative DNA supercoiling is an important physiological function of the CobB protein deacetylase. PMID:28398568

  20. Functional importance of the DNA binding activity of Candida albicans Czf1p.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Petrovska

    Full Text Available The human opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans undergoes a reversible morphological transition between the yeast and hyphal states in response to a variety of signals. One such environmental trigger is growth within a semisolid matrix such as agar medium. This growth condition is of interest because it may mimic the growth of C. albicans in contact with host tissue during infection. During growth within a semisolid matrix, hyphal growth is positively regulated by the transcriptional regulator Czf1p and negatively by a second key transcriptional regulator, Efg1p. Genetic studies indicate that Czf1p, a member of the zinc-cluster family of transcriptional regulators, exerts its function by opposing the inhibitory influence of Efg1p on matrix-induced filamentous growth. We examined the importance of the two known activities of Czf1p, DNA-binding and interaction with Efg1p. We found that the two activities were separable by mutation allowing us to demonstrate that the DNA-binding activity of Czf1p was essential for its role as a positive regulator of morphogenesis. Surprisingly, however, interactions with Efg1p appeared to be largely dispensable. Our studies provide the first evidence of a key role for the DNA-binding activity of Czf1p in the morphological yeast-to-hyphal transition triggered by matrix-embedded growth.

  1. The prognostic importance of lung function in patients admitted with heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Kasper Karmark; Kjaergaard, Jesper; Akkan, Dilek; Kober, Lars; Torp-Pedersen, Christian; Hassager, Christian; Vestbo, Jorgen; Kjoller, Erik

    2010-07-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic importance for all-cause mortality of lung function variables obtained by spirometry in an unselected group of patients admitted with heart failure (HF). This was a prospective prognostic study performed as part of the EchoCardiography and Heart Outcome Study (ECHOS). This analysis included 532 patients admitted with a clinical diagnosis of HF. All patients underwent spirometry and echocardiography and the diagnosis of HF was made according to established criteria. Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) was 65% of the predicted value [95% confidence interval (CI) 63-67%], mean forced vital capacity (FVC) was 71% of predicted (95% CI 69-72%), and FEV(1)/FVC was 0.72 (95% CI 0.71-0.73). FEV(1), FVC, and FEV(1)/FVC were all significant prognostic factors for all-cause mortality in univariate analyses. In a multivariate analysis, FEV(1) had independent prognostic value (hazard ratio 0.86 per 10% change, P information for all-cause mortality in patients admitted with HF. Spirometry therefore seems to be worth considering for all patients admitted with HF in order to identify patients at high risk.

  2. How the choice of safety performance function affects the identification of important crash prediction variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ketong; Simandl, Jenna K; Porter, Michael D; Graettinger, Andrew J; Smith, Randy K

    2016-03-01

    Across the nation, researchers and transportation engineers are developing safety performance functions (SPFs) to predict crash rates and develop crash modification factors to improve traffic safety at roadway segments and intersections. Generalized linear models (GLMs), such as Poisson or negative binomial regression, are most commonly used to develop SPFs with annual average daily traffic as the primary roadway characteristic to predict crashes. However, while more complex to interpret, data mining models such as boosted regression trees have improved upon GLMs crash prediction performance due to their ability to handle more data characteristics, accommodate non-linearities, and include interaction effects between the characteristics. An intersection data inventory of 36 safety relevant parameters for three- and four-legged non-signalized intersections along state routes in Alabama was used to study the importance of intersection characteristics on crash rate and the interaction effects between key characteristics. Four different SPFs were investigated and compared: Poisson regression, negative binomial regression, regularized generalized linear model, and boosted regression trees. The models did not agree on which intersection characteristics were most related to the crash rate. The boosted regression tree model significantly outperformed the other models and identified several intersection characteristics as having strong interaction effects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparative and functional triatomine genomics reveals reductions and expansions in insecticide resistance-related gene families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traverso, Lucila; Lavore, Andrés; Sierra, Ivana; Palacio, Victorio; Martinez-Barnetche, Jesús; Latorre-Estivalis, José Manuel; Mougabure-Cueto, Gaston; Francini, Flavio; Lorenzo, Marcelo G; Rodríguez, Mario Henry; Ons, Sheila; Rivera-Pomar, Rolando V

    2017-02-01

    Triatomine insects are vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite that is the causative agent of Chagas' disease. This is a neglected disease affecting approximately 8 million people in Latin America. The existence of diverse pyrethroid resistant populations of at least two species demonstrates the potential of triatomines to develop high levels of insecticide resistance. Therefore, the incorporation of strategies for resistance management is a main concern for vector control programs. Three enzymatic superfamilies are thought to mediate xenobiotic detoxification and resistance: Glutathione Transferases (GSTs), Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) and Carboxyl/Cholinesterases (CCEs). Improving our knowledge of key triatomine detoxification enzymes will strengthen our understanding of insecticide resistance processes in vectors of Chagas' disease. The discovery and description of detoxification gene superfamilies in normalized transcriptomes of three triatomine species: Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma infestans and Triatoma pallidipennis is presented. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of these superfamilies among the triatomine transcriptomes and the genome of Rhodnius prolixus, also a triatomine vector of Chagas' disease, and other well-studied insect genomes was performed. The expression pattern of detoxification genes in R. prolixus transcriptomes from key organs was analyzed. The comparisons reveal gene expansions in Sigma class GSTs, CYP3 in CYP superfamily and clade E in CCE superfamily. Moreover, several CYP families identified in these triatomines have not yet been described in other insects. Conversely, several groups of insecticide resistance related enzymes within each enzyme superfamily are reduced or lacking in triatomines. Furthermore, our qRT-PCR results showed an increase in the expression of a CYP4 gene in a T. infestans population resistant to pyrethroids. These results could point to an involvement of metabolic detoxification mechanisms on the high

  4. Comparative and functional triatomine genomics reveals reductions and expansions in insecticide resistance-related gene families.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucila Traverso

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Triatomine insects are vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite that is the causative agent of Chagas' disease. This is a neglected disease affecting approximately 8 million people in Latin America. The existence of diverse pyrethroid resistant populations of at least two species demonstrates the potential of triatomines to develop high levels of insecticide resistance. Therefore, the incorporation of strategies for resistance management is a main concern for vector control programs. Three enzymatic superfamilies are thought to mediate xenobiotic detoxification and resistance: Glutathione Transferases (GSTs, Cytochromes P450 (CYPs and Carboxyl/Cholinesterases (CCEs. Improving our knowledge of key triatomine detoxification enzymes will strengthen our understanding of insecticide resistance processes in vectors of Chagas' disease.The discovery and description of detoxification gene superfamilies in normalized transcriptomes of three triatomine species: Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma infestans and Triatoma pallidipennis is presented. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of these superfamilies among the triatomine transcriptomes and the genome of Rhodnius prolixus, also a triatomine vector of Chagas' disease, and other well-studied insect genomes was performed. The expression pattern of detoxification genes in R. prolixus transcriptomes from key organs was analyzed. The comparisons reveal gene expansions in Sigma class GSTs, CYP3 in CYP superfamily and clade E in CCE superfamily. Moreover, several CYP families identified in these triatomines have not yet been described in other insects. Conversely, several groups of insecticide resistance related enzymes within each enzyme superfamily are reduced or lacking in triatomines. Furthermore, our qRT-PCR results showed an increase in the expression of a CYP4 gene in a T. infestans population resistant to pyrethroids. These results could point to an involvement of metabolic detoxification mechanisms

  5. Functionally important amino acids in the TCR revealed by immunoselection of membrane TCR-negative T cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspar-Bauguil, S; Arnaud, J; Gouaillard, C

    1994-01-01

    A spontaneous TCR cell surface variant (3P11) of the Jurkat T cell line is described and characterized. 3P11 was selected by incubation of Jurkat cells with anti-TCR mAb followed by passage through Ig anti-Ig columns and cloning. 3P11 contained mRNA for both Ti alpha and Ti beta and CD3 gamma, de...

  6. Whole-brain analytic measures of network communication reveal increased structure-function correlation in right temporal lobe epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Wirsich

    2016-01-01

    In rTLE patients, we found a widespread hypercorrelated functional network. Network communication analysis revealed greater unspecific branching of the shortest path (search information in the structural connectome and a higher global correlation between the structural and functional connectivity for the patient group. We also found evidence for a preserved structural rich-club in the patient group. In sum, global augmentation of structure-function correlation might be linked to a smaller functional repertoire in rTLE patients, while sparing the central core of the brain which may represent a pathway that facilitates the spread of seizures.

  7. Reverse genetic characterization of two paralogous acetoacetyl CoA thiolase genes in Arabidopsis reveals their importance in plant growth and development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Huanan; Song, Zhihong; Nikolau, Basil J.

    2012-03-31

    Acetoacetyl CoA thiolase (AACT, EC 2.3.1.9) catalyzes the condensation of two acetyl CoA molecules to form acetoacetyl CoA. Two AACT‐encoding genes, At5g47720 (AACT1) and At5g48230 (AACT2), were functionally identified in the Arabidopsis genome by direct enzymological assays and functional expression in yeast. Promoter::GUS fusion experiments indicated that AACT1 is primarily expressed in the vascular system and AACT2 is highly expressed in root tips, young leaves, top stems and anthers. Characterization of T‐DNA insertion mutant alleles at each AACT locus established that AACT2 function is required for embryogenesis and for normal male gamete transmission. In contrast, plants lacking AACT1 function are completely viable and show no apparent growth phenotypes, indicating that AACT1 is functionally redundant with respect to AACT2 function. RNAi lines that express reduced levels of AACT2 show pleiotropic phenotypes, including reduced apical dominance, elongated life span and flowering duration, sterility, dwarfing, reduced seed yield and shorter root length. Microscopic analysis reveals that the reduced stature is caused by a reduction in cell size and fewer cells, and male sterility is caused by loss of the pollen coat and premature degeneration of the tapetal cells. Biochemical analyses established that the roots of AACT2 RNAi plants show quantitative and qualitative alterations in phytosterol profiles. These phenotypes and biochemical alterations are reversed when AACT2 RNAi plants are grown in the presence of mevalonate, which is consistent with the role of AACT2 in generating the bulk of the acetoacetyl CoA precursor required for the cytosol‐localized, mevalonate‐derived isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway.

  8. Phototransformation-Induced Aggregation of Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: The Importance of Amorphous Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with proper functionalization are desirable for applications that require dispersion in aqueous and biological environments, and functionalized SWCNTs also serve as building blocks for conjugation with specific molecules in these applicatio...

  9. Importance measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Cobo, A.

    1997-01-01

    The presentation discusses the following: general concepts of importance measures; example fault tree, used to illustrate importance measures; Birnbaum's structural importance; criticality importance; Fussel-Vesely importance; upgrading function; risk achievement worth; risk reduction worth

  10. Optic neuropathies--importance of spatial distribution of mitochondria as well as function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu Wai Man, C Y; Chinnery, P F; Griffiths, P G

    2005-01-01

    Optic neuropathies such as Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, dominant optic atrophy and toxic amblyopia are an important cause of irreversible visual failure. Although they are associated with a defect of mitochondrial energy production, their pathogenesis is poorly understood. A common feature to all these disorders is relatively selective degeneration of the papillomacular bundle of retinal ganglion cells resulting central or caecocentral visual field defects. The striking similarity in the pattern of clinical involvement seen with these disparate disorders suggests a common pathway in their aetiology. The existing hypothesis that the optic nerve head has higher energy demands than other tissues making it uniquely dependent on oxidative phosporylation is not satisfactory. First, other ocular tissues such as photoreceptors, which are more dependent on oxidative phosporylation are not affected. Second, other mitochondrial disorders, which have a greater impact on mitochondrial energy function, do not affect the optic nerve. The optic nerve head has certain unique ultra structural features. Ganglion cell axons exit the eye through a perforated collagen plate, the lamina cribrosa. There is a sharp discontinuity in the density of mitochondria at the optic nerve head, with a very high concentration in the prelaminar nerve fibre layer and low concentration behind the lamina. This has previously been attributed to a mechanical hold up of axoplasmic flow, which has itself been proposed as a factor in the pathogenesis of a number of optic neuropathies. More recent evidence shows that mitochondrial distribution reflects the different energy requirements of the unmyelinated prelaminar axons in comparison to the myelinated retrolaminar axons. The heterogeous distribution of mitochondria is actively maintained to support conduction through the optic nerve head. We propose that factors that disrupt the heterogeneous distribution of mitochondria can result in ganglion cell

  11. Succinyl-proteome profiling of Dendrobium officinale, an important traditional Chinese orchid herb, revealed involvement of succinylation in the glycolysis pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shangguo; Jiao, Kaili; Guo, Hong; Jiang, Mengyi; Hao, Juan; Wang, Huizhong; Shen, Chenjia

    2017-08-10

    Lysine succinylation is a ubiquitous and important protein post-translational modification in various eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. However, its functions in Dendrobium officinale, an important traditional Chinese orchid herb with high polysaccharide contents, are largely unknown. In our study, LC-MS/MS was used to identify the peptides that were enriched by immune-purification with a high-efficiency succinyl-lysine antibody. In total, 314 lysine succinylation sites in 207 proteins were identified. A gene ontology analysis showed that these proteins are associated with a wide range of cellular functions, from metabolic processes to stimuli responses. Moreover, two types of conserved succinylation motifs, '***K suc ******K**' and '****EK suc ***', were identified. Our data showed that lysine succinylation occurred on five key enzymes in the glycolysis pathway. The numbers of average succinylation sites on these five enzymes in plants were lower than those in bacteria and mammals. Interestingly, two active site amino acids residues, K103 and K225, could be succinylated in fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, indicating a potential function of lysine succinylation in the regulation of glycolytic enzyme activities. Furthermore, the protein-protein interaction network for the succinylated proteins showed that several functional terms, such as glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and ribosome, are consisted. Our results provide the first comprehensive view of the succinylome of D. officinale and may accelerate future biological investigations of succinylation in the synthesis of polysaccharides, which are major active ingredients.

  12. Automatic variance reduction for Monte Carlo simulations via the local importance function transform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, S.A.

    1996-02-01

    The author derives a transformed transport problem that can be solved theoretically by analog Monte Carlo with zero variance. However, the Monte Carlo simulation of this transformed problem cannot be implemented in practice, so he develops a method for approximating it. The approximation to the zero variance method consists of replacing the continuous adjoint transport solution in the transformed transport problem by a piecewise continuous approximation containing local biasing parameters obtained from a deterministic calculation. He uses the transport and collision processes of the transformed problem to bias distance-to-collision and selection of post-collision energy groups and trajectories in a traditional Monte Carlo simulation of ''real'' particles. He refers to the resulting variance reduction method as the Local Importance Function Transform (LIFI) method. He demonstrates the efficiency of the LIFT method for several 3-D, linearly anisotropic scattering, one-group, and multigroup problems. In these problems the LIFT method is shown to be more efficient than the AVATAR scheme, which is one of the best variance reduction techniques currently available in a state-of-the-art Monte Carlo code. For most of the problems considered, the LIFT method produces higher figures of merit than AVATAR, even when the LIFT method is used as a ''black box''. There are some problems that cause trouble for most variance reduction techniques, and the LIFT method is no exception. For example, the author demonstrates that problems with voids, or low density regions, can cause a reduction in the efficiency of the LIFT method. However, the LIFT method still performs better than survival biasing and AVATAR in these difficult cases

  13. Integrated analysis of microRNA and gene expression profiles reveals a functional regulatory module associated with liver fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Zhao, Wenshan; Yang, Aiting; Xu, Anjian; Wang, Huan; Cong, Min; Liu, Tianhui; Wang, Ping; You, Hong

    2017-12-15

    Liver fibrosis, characterized with the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, represents the final common pathway of chronic liver inflammation. Ever-increasing evidence indicates microRNAs (miRNAs) dysregulation has important implications in the different stages of liver fibrosis. However, our knowledge of miRNA-gene regulation details pertaining to such disease remains unclear. The publicly available Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets of patients suffered from cirrhosis were extracted for integrated analysis. Differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) and genes (DEGs) were identified using GEO2R web tool. Putative target gene prediction of DEMs was carried out using the intersection of five major algorithms: DIANA-microT, TargetScan, miRanda, PICTAR5 and miRWalk. Functional miRNA-gene regulatory network (FMGRN) was constructed based on the computational target predictions at the sequence level and the inverse expression relationships between DEMs and DEGs. DAVID web server was selected to perform KEGG pathway enrichment analysis. Functional miRNA-gene regulatory module was generated based on the biological interpretation. Internal connections among genes in liver fibrosis-related module were determined using String database. MiRNA-gene regulatory modules related to liver fibrosis were experimentally verified in recombinant human TGFβ1 stimulated and specific miRNA inhibitor treated LX-2 cells. We totally identified 85 and 923 dysregulated miRNAs and genes in liver cirrhosis biopsy samples compared to their normal controls. All evident miRNA-gene pairs were identified and assembled into FMGRN which consisted of 990 regulations between 51 miRNAs and 275 genes, forming two big sub-networks that were defined as down-network and up-network, respectively. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that up-network was prominently involved in several KEGG pathways, in which "Focal adhesion", "PI3K-Akt signaling pathway" and "ECM

  14. Linear and Non-Linear Dose-Response Functions Reveal a Hormetic Relationship Between Stress and Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Zoladz, Phillip R.; Diamond, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Over a century of behavioral research has shown that stress can enhance or impair learning and memory. In the present review, we have explored the complex effects of stress on cognition and propose that they are characterized by linear and non-linear dose-response functions, which together reveal a hormetic relationship between stress and learning. We suggest that stress initially enhances hippocampal function, resulting from amygdala-induced excitation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as ...

  15. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  16. Importance of Collateralization in Patients With Large Artery Intracranial Occlusive Disease: Long-Term Longitudinal Assessment of Cerebral Hemodynamic Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa McKetton

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Patients with large artery intracranial occlusive disease (LAICOD are at risk for both acute ischemia and chronic hypoperfusion. Collateral circulation plays an important role in prognosis, and imaging plays an essential role in diagnosis, treatment planning, and prognosis of patients with LAICOD. In addition to standard structural imaging, assessment of cerebral hemodynamic function is important to determine the adequacy of collateral supply. Among the currently available methods of assessment of cerebral hemodynamic function, measurement of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD MRI and precisely controlled CO2 has shown to be a safe, reliable, reproducible, and clinically useful method for long-term assessment of patients. Here, we report a case of long-term follow-up in a 28-year-old Caucasian female presented to the neurology clinic with a history of TIAs and LAICOD of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA. Initial structural MRI showed a right MCA stenosis and a small right coronal radiate lacunar infarct. Her CVR study showed a large area of impaired CVR with a paradoxical decrease in BOLD signal with hypercapnia involving the right MCA territory indicating intracerebral steal. The patient was managed medically with anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy and was followed-up for over 9 years with both structural and functional imaging. Cortical thickness (CT measures were longitudinally assessed from a region of interest that was applied to subsequent time points in the cortical region exhibiting steal physiology and in the same region of the contralateral healthy hemisphere. In the long-term follow-up, the patient exhibited improvement in her CVR as demonstrated by the development of collaterals with negligible changes to CT. Management of patients with LAICOD remains challenging since no revascularization strategies have shown efficacy except in patients with moyamoya disease. Management is well

  17. Importance of Collateralization in Patients With Large Artery Intracranial Occlusive Disease: Long-Term Longitudinal Assessment of Cerebral Hemodynamic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKetton, Larissa; Venkatraghavan, Lakshmikumar; Poublanc, Julien; Sobczyk, Olivia; Crawley, Adrian P; Rosen, Casey; Silver, Frank L; Duffin, James; Fisher, Joseph A; Mikulis, David J

    2018-01-01

    Patients with large artery intracranial occlusive disease (LAICOD) are at risk for both acute ischemia and chronic hypoperfusion. Collateral circulation plays an important role in prognosis, and imaging plays an essential role in diagnosis, treatment planning, and prognosis of patients with LAICOD. In addition to standard structural imaging, assessment of cerebral hemodynamic function is important to determine the adequacy of collateral supply. Among the currently available methods of assessment of cerebral hemodynamic function, measurement of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) MRI and precisely controlled CO 2 has shown to be a safe, reliable, reproducible, and clinically useful method for long-term assessment of patients. Here, we report a case of long-term follow-up in a 28-year-old Caucasian female presented to the neurology clinic with a history of TIAs and LAICOD of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA). Initial structural MRI showed a right MCA stenosis and a small right coronal radiate lacunar infarct. Her CVR study showed a large area of impaired CVR with a paradoxical decrease in BOLD signal with hypercapnia involving the right MCA territory indicating intracerebral steal. The patient was managed medically with anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy and was followed-up for over 9 years with both structural and functional imaging. Cortical thickness (CT) measures were longitudinally assessed from a region of interest that was applied to subsequent time points in the cortical region exhibiting steal physiology and in the same region of the contralateral healthy hemisphere. In the long-term follow-up, the patient exhibited improvement in her CVR as demonstrated by the development of collaterals with negligible changes to CT. Management of patients with LAICOD remains challenging since no revascularization strategies have shown efficacy except in patients with moyamoya disease. Management is well defined for acute

  18. Substituent effects on the redox states of locally functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes revealed by in situ photoluminescence spectroelectrochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraishi, Tomonari; Shiraki, Tomohiro; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2017-11-09

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with local chemical modification have been recognized as a novel near infrared (NIR) photoluminescent nanomaterial due to the emergence of a new red-shifted photoluminescence (PL) with enhanced quantum yields. As a characteristic feature of the locally functionalized SWNTs (lf-SWNTs), PL wavelength changes occur with the structural dependence of the substituent structures in the modified aryl groups, showing up to a 60 nm peak shift according to an electronic property difference of the aryl groups. Up to now, however, the structural effect on the electronic states of the lf-SWNTs has been discussed only on the basis of theoretical calculations due to the very limited amount of modifications. Herein, we describe the successfully-determined electronic states of the aryl-modified lf-SWNTs with different substituents (Ar-X SWNTs) using an in situ PL spectroelectrochemical method based on electrochemical quenching of the PL intensities analyzed by the Nernst equation. In particular, we reveal that the local functionalization of (6,5)SWNTs induced potential changes in the energy levels of the HOMO and the LUMO by -23 to -38 meV and +20 to +22 meV, respectively, compared to those of the pristine SWNTs, which generates exciton trapping sites with narrower band gaps. Moreover, the HOMO levels of the Ar-X SWNTs specifically shift in a negative potential direction by 15 meV according to an enhancement of the electron-accepting property of the substituents in the aryl groups that corresponds to an increase in the Hammet substituent constants, suggesting the importance of the dipole effect from the aryl groups on the lf-SWNTs to the level shift of the frontier orbitals. Our method is a promising way to characterize the electronic features of the lf-SWNTs.

  19. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I.; Taylor, Kent D.; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O.

    2015-01-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS. PMID:26305227

  20. Inhibition of thrombin by functionalized C60 nanoparticles revealed via in vitro assays and in silico studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanyan; Fu, Jianjie; Pan, Wenxiao; Xue, Qiao; Liu, Xian; Zhang, Aiqian

    2018-01-01

    The studies on the human toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) are far behind the rapid development of engineered functionalized NPs. Fullerene has been widely used as drug carrier skeleton due to its reported low risk. However, different from other kinds of NPs, fullerene-based NPs (C 60 NPs) have been found to have an anticoagulation effect, although the potential target is still unknown. In the study, both experimental and computational methods were adopted to gain mechanistic insight into the modulation of thrombin activity by nine kinds of C 60 NPs with diverse surface chemistry properties. In vitro enzyme activity assays showed that all tested surface-modified C 60 NPs exhibited thrombin inhibition ability. Kinetic studies coupled with competitive testing using 3 known inhibitors indicated that six of the C 60 NPs, of greater hydrophobicity and hydrogen bond (HB) donor acidity or acceptor basicity, acted as competitive inhibitors of thrombin by directly interacting with the active site of thrombin. A simple quantitative nanostructure-activity relationship model relating the surface substituent properties to the inhibition potential was then established for the six competitive inhibitors. Molecular docking analysis revealed that the intermolecular HB interactions were important for the specific binding of C 60 NPs to the active site canyon, while the additional stability provided by the surface groups through van der Waals interaction also play a key role in the thrombin binding affinity of the NPs. Our results suggest that thrombin is a possible target of the surface-functionalized C 60 NPs relevant to their anticoagulation effect. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle R Jones

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Genome wide association studies (GWAS have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS, a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  2. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michelle R; Brower, Meredith A; Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I; Taylor, Kent D; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O

    2015-08-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  3. Dimer monomer transition and dimer re-formation play important role for ATM cellular function during DNA repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du, Fengxia; Zhang, Minjie; Li, Xiaohua; Yang, Caiyun; Meng, Hao; Wang, Dong; Chang, Shuang; Xu, Ye; Price, Brendan; Sun, Yingli

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • ATM phosphorylates the opposite strand of the dimer in response to DNA damage. • The PETPVFRLT box of ATM plays a key role in its dimer dissociation in DNA repair. • The dephosphorylation of ATM is critical for dimer re-formation after DNA repair. - Abstract: The ATM protein kinase, is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is recruited and activated by DNA double-strand breaks, mediates responses to ionizing radiation in mammalian cells. Here we show that ATM is held inactive in unirradiated cells as a dimer and phosphorylates the opposite strand of the dimer in response to DNA damage. Cellular irradiation induces rapid intermolecular autophosphorylation of serine 1981 that causes dimer dissociation and initiates cellular ATM kinase activity. ATM cannot phosphorylate the substrates when it could not undergo dimer monomer transition. After DNA repair, the active monomer will undergo dephosphorylation to form dimer again and dephosphorylation is critical for dimer re-formation. Our work reveals novel function of ATM dimer monomer transition and explains why ATM dimer monomer transition plays such important role for ATM cellular activity during DNA repair

  4. Estimation of Import and Export demand Functions Using Bilateral Trade Data ___ the case of Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Jahanzaib Haider; Muhammad Afzal; Farah Riaz

    2011-01-01

    We estimated the import and export elasticities of Pakistan trade with traditional trade partners and some Asian countries to see the dynamics of Pakistan trade from 1973 to 2008. OLS results suggest that income is the principal determinant of exports and imports. Pakistan exports are cointegrated with Japan and USA while the imports are cointegrated with UAE and USA. Pakistan imports and exports are cointegrated with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but not with India and China. Income and exchange ...

  5. Gustatory imagery reveals functional connectivity from the prefrontal to insular cortices traced with magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Masayuki; Sasabe, Tetsuya; Shigihara, Yoshihito; Tanaka, Masaaki; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Our experience and prejudice concerning food play an important role in modulating gustatory information processing; gustatory memory stored in the central nervous system influences gustatory information arising from the peripheral nervous system. We have elucidated the mechanism of the "top-down" modulation of taste perception in humans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and demonstrated that gustatory imagery is mediated by the prefrontal (PFC) and insular cortices (IC). However, the temporal order of activation of these brain regions during gustatory imagery is still an open issue. To explore the source of "top-down" signals during gustatory imagery tasks, we analyzed the temporal activation patterns of activated regions in the cerebral cortex using another non-invasive brain imaging technique, magnetoencephalography (MEG). Gustatory imagery tasks were presented by words (Letter G-V) or pictures (Picture G-V) of foods/beverages, and participants were requested to recall their taste. In the Letter G-V session, 7/9 (77.8%) participants showed activation in the IC with a latency of 401.7±34.7 ms (n = 7) from the onset of word exhibition. In 5/7 (71.4%) participants who exhibited IC activation, the PFC was activated prior to the IC at a latency of 315.2±56.5 ms (n = 5), which was significantly shorter than the latency to the IC activation. In the Picture G-V session, the IC was activated in 6/9 (66.7%) participants, and only 1/9 (11.1%) participants showed activation in the PFC. There was no significant dominance between the right and left IC or PFC during gustatory imagery. These results support those from our previous fMRI study in that the Letter G-V session rather than the Picture G-V session effectively activates the PFC and IC and strengthen the hypothesis that the PFC mediates "top-down" control of retrieving gustatory information from the storage of long-term memories and in turn activates the IC.

  6. Gustatory imagery reveals functional connectivity from the prefrontal to insular cortices traced with magnetoencephalography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki Kobayashi

    Full Text Available Our experience and prejudice concerning food play an important role in modulating gustatory information processing; gustatory memory stored in the central nervous system influences gustatory information arising from the peripheral nervous system. We have elucidated the mechanism of the "top-down" modulation of taste perception in humans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and demonstrated that gustatory imagery is mediated by the prefrontal (PFC and insular cortices (IC. However, the temporal order of activation of these brain regions during gustatory imagery is still an open issue. To explore the source of "top-down" signals during gustatory imagery tasks, we analyzed the temporal activation patterns of activated regions in the cerebral cortex using another non-invasive brain imaging technique, magnetoencephalography (MEG. Gustatory imagery tasks were presented by words (Letter G-V or pictures (Picture G-V of foods/beverages, and participants were requested to recall their taste. In the Letter G-V session, 7/9 (77.8% participants showed activation in the IC with a latency of 401.7±34.7 ms (n = 7 from the onset of word exhibition. In 5/7 (71.4% participants who exhibited IC activation, the PFC was activated prior to the IC at a latency of 315.2±56.5 ms (n = 5, which was significantly shorter than the latency to the IC activation. In the Picture G-V session, the IC was activated in 6/9 (66.7% participants, and only 1/9 (11.1% participants showed activation in the PFC. There was no significant dominance between the right and left IC or PFC during gustatory imagery. These results support those from our previous fMRI study in that the Letter G-V session rather than the Picture G-V session effectively activates the PFC and IC and strengthen the hypothesis that the PFC mediates "top-down" control of retrieving gustatory information from the storage of long-term memories and in turn activates the IC.

  7. The structure of BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus reveals a superfamily of bacterial periplasmic proteins with possible inhibitory function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, Debanu; Finn, Robert D.; Carlton, Dennis; Miller, Mitchell D.; Abdubek, Polat; Astakhova, Tamara; Axelrod, Herbert L.; Bakolitsa, Constantina; Chen, Connie; Chiu, Hsiu-Ju; Chiu, Michelle; Clayton, Thomas; Deller, Marc C.; Duan, Lian; Ellrott, Kyle; Ernst, Dustin; Farr, Carol L.; Feuerhelm, Julie; Grant, Joanna C.; Grzechnik, Anna; Han, Gye Won; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Jin, Kevin K.; Klock, Heath E.; Knuth, Mark W.; Kozbial, Piotr; Krishna, S. Sri; Kumar, Abhinav; Marciano, David; McMullan, Daniel; Morse, Andrew T.; Nigoghossian, Edward; Nopakun, Amanda; Okach, Linda; Puckett, Christina; Reyes, Ron; Rife, Christopher L.; Sefcovic, Natasha; Tien, Henry J.; Trame, Christine B.; Bedem, Henry van den; Weekes, Dana; Wooten, Tiffany; Xu, Qingping; Hodgson, Keith O.; Wooley, John; Elsliger, Marc-André; Deacon, Ashley M.; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    The crystal structure of the BVU2987 gene product from B. vulgatus (UniProt A6L4L1) reveals that members of the new Pfam family PF11396 (domain of unknown function; DUF2874) are similar to β-lactamase inhibitor protein and YpmB. Proteins that contain the DUF2874 domain constitute a new Pfam family PF11396. Members of this family have predominantly been identified in microbes found in the human gut and oral cavity. The crystal structure of one member of this family, BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus, has been determined, revealing a β-lactamase inhibitor protein-like structure with a tandem repeat of domains. Sequence analysis and structural comparisons reveal that BVU2987 and other DUF2874 proteins are related to β-lactamase inhibitor protein, PepSY and SmpA-OmlA proteins and hence are likely to function as inhibitory proteins

  8. Identifying faecal impaction is important for ensuring the timely diagnosis of childhood functional constipation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Modin, Line; Walsted, Anne-Mette; Jakobsen, Marianne Skytte

    2015-01-01

    AIM: Most research on functional constipation has been carried out at a tertiary level. We focused this study on a secondary-level hospital outpatients' department, assessing the distribution of diagnostic criteria for childhood functional constipation and evaluating the consequences of current...... diagnostic practice based on current guidelines. METHODS: We enrolled 235 children, aged two to 16 years of age, with functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria and assessed them using medical histories and physical examinations, including rectal examinations and ultrasound measurements...... the timely diagnosis of childhood functional constipation at the secondary care level. Ultrasound examination proved a reliable alternative to rectal examination or abdominal radiography when identifying faecal impaction....

  9. Whole brain resting-state analysis reveals decreased functional connectivity in major depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, I.M.; Beckmann, C.F.; van Tol, M.J.; Ferrarini, L.; Milles, J.; Veltman, D.J.; Aleman, A.; van Buchem, M.A.; van der Wee, N.J.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.

    2010-01-01

    Recently, both increases and decreases in resting-state functional connectivity have been found in major depression. However, these studies only assessed functional connectivity within a specific network or between a few regions of interest, while comorbidity and use of medication was not always

  10. Nationwide analysis of adrenocortical carcinoma reveals higher perioperative morbidity in functional tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikh, Punam P; Rubio, Gustavo A; Farra, Josefina C; Lew, John I

    2017-08-25

    Current adrenalectomy outcomes for functional adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) remain unclear. This study examines nationwide in-hospital post-adrenalectomy outcomes for ACC. A retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2006-2011) to identify unilateral adrenalectomy patients for functional or nonfunctional ACC was performed. Patient demographics, comorbidities and postoperative outcomes were evaluated by t-test, Chi-square and multivariate regression. Of 2199 patients who underwent adrenalectomy, 87% had nonfunctional and 13% had functional ACC (86% hypercortisolism, 16% hyperaldosteronism, 4% hyperandrogenism). Functional ACC patients had significantly more comorbidities, and experienced certain postoperative complications more frequently including wound issues, adrenocortical insufficiency and acute kidney injury with longer hospital stay compared to nonfunctional ACC (P analysis, functional ACC was an independent prognosticator for wound complications (28.1, 95%CI 4.59-176.6). Patients with functional ACC manifest significant comorbidities with certain in-hospital complications. Such high-risk patients require appropriate preoperative medical optimization prior to adrenalectomy. Patients with functional adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) have significant preoperative comorbidities and experience higher rates of certain postoperative complications including wound complications, hematoma formation, adrenal insufficiency, pulmonary embolism and acute kidney injury. Functional ACC patients also necessitate longer hospitalizations. These patients should undergo appropriate preoperative counseling in preparation for adrenalectomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Point kinetics equations for subcritical systems based on the importance function associated to an external neutron source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carvalho Gonçalves, Wemerson de; Martinez, Aquilino Senra; Carvalho da Silva, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We define the new function importance. • We calculate the kinetic parameters Λ, β, Γ and Q to: 0.95, 0.96, 0.97, 0.98 and 0.99. • We compared the results with those obtained by the main important functions. • We found that the calculated kinetic parameters are physically consistent. - Abstract: This paper aims to determine the parameters for a new set of equations of point kinetic subcritical systems, based on the concept of importance of Heuristic Generalized Perturbation Theory (HGPT). The importance function defined here is related to both the subcriticality and the external neutron source worth (which keeps the system at steady state). The kinetic parameters defined in this work are compared with the corresponding parameters when adopting the importance functions proposed by Gandini and Salvatores (2002), Dulla et al. (2006) and Nishihara et al. (2003). Furthermore, the point kinetics equations developed here are solved for two different transients, considering the parameters obtained with different importance functions. The results collected show that there is a similar behavior of the solution of the point kinetics equations, when used with the parameters obtained by the importance functions proposed by Gandini and Salvatores (2002) and Dulla et al. (2006), specially near the criticality. However, this is not verified as the system gets farther from criticality

  12. Investigation of pancreas indocrine function in order to reveal subclinical insulin resistence in women with acne

    OpenAIRE

    Filippova, T.; Rudykh, N.; Shevchuk, A.

    2008-01-01

    Changed glycemic curves and indices of insulin resistance, the increase of insulin basal level in comparison with healthy persons, presence of antibodies to insulin antigen, decrease of level sex hormone bilding globulin were revealed in patients with acne. It can be considered as sign of formation of subclinical insulin resistance.

  13. ‘Candidatus Competibacter’-lineage genomes retrieved from metagenomes reveal functional metabolic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McIlroy, Simon Jon; Albertsen, Mads; Andresen, Eva Kammer

    2014-01-01

    as for denitrification, nitrogen fixation, fermentation, trehalose synthesis and utilisation of glucose and lactate. Genetic comparison of P metabolism pathways with sequenced PAOs revealed the absence of the Pit phosphate transporter in the Competibacter-lineage genomes—identifying a key metabolic difference...

  14. Nitrate removal in a restored riparian groundwater system: functioning and importance of individual riparian zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Peter

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available For the design and the assessment of river restoration projects, it is important to know to what extent the elimination of reactive nitrogen (N can be improved in the riparian groundwater. We investigated the effectiveness of different riparian zones, characterized by a riparian vegetation succession, for nitrate (NO3 removal from infiltrating river water in a restored and a still channelized section of the river Thur, Switzerland. Functional genes of denitrification (nirS and nosZ were relatively abundant in groundwater from willow bush and mixed forest dominated zones, where oxygen concentrations remained low compared to the main channel and other riparian zones. After flood events, a substantial decline in NO3 concentration (> 50% was observed in the willow bush zone but not in the other riparian zones closer to the river. In addition, the characteristic enrichment of 15N and 18O in the residual NO3 pool (by up to 22‰ for δ15N and up to 12‰ for δ18O provides qualitative evidence that the willow bush and forest zones were sites of active denitrification and, to a lesser extent, NO3 removal by plant uptake. Particularly in the willow bush zone during a period of water table elevation after a flooding event, substantial input of organic carbon into the groundwater occurred, thereby fostering post-flood denitrification activity that reduced NO3 concentration with a rate of ~21 μmol N l−1 d−1. Nitrogen removal in the forest zone was not sensitive to flood pulses, and overall NO3 removal rates were lower (~6 μmol l−1 d−1. Hence, discharge-modulated vegetation–soil–groundwater coupling was found to be a key driver for riparian NO3 removal. We estimated that

  15. Functional outcomes of child and adolescent mental disorders. Current disorder most important but psychiatric history matters as well

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ormel, Johan; Oerlemans, Anoek; Raven, Dennis; Laceulle, O.M.; Hartman, Catharina; Veenstra, Rene; Verhulst, F; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Rosmalen, J.G.M.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Oldehinkel, Tineke

    2017-01-01

    Background. Various sources indicate that mental disorders are the leading contributor to the burden of disease among youth. An important determinant of functioning is current mental health status. This study investigated whether psychiatric history has additional predictive power when predicting

  16. The importance of biodiversity and dominance for multiple ecosystem functions in a human-modified tropical landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Bongers, F.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Poorter, L.

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest that biodiversity may be particularly important for ecosystem multifunctionality, because different species with different traits can contribute to different functions. Support, however, comes mostly from experimental studies conducted at small spatial scales in low-diversity

  17. Insights from Cognitive Neuroscience: The Importance of Executive Function for Early Reading Development and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Kelly B.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Executive function begins to develop in infancy and involves an array of processes, such as attention, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, which provide the means by which individuals control their own behavior, work toward goals, and manage complex cognitive processes. Thus, executive function plays a…

  18. Functional network-based statistics in depression: Theory of mind subnetwork and importance of parietal region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Chien-Han; Wu, Yu-Te; Hou, Yuh-Ming

    2017-08-01

    The functional network analysis of whole brain is an emerging field for research in depression. We initiated this study to investigate which subnetwork is significantly altered within the functional connectome in major depressive disorder (MDD). The study enrolled 52 first-episode medication-naïve patients with MDD and 40 controls for functional network analysis. All participants received the resting-state functional imaging using a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance scanner. After preprocessing, we calculated the connectivity matrix of functional connectivity in whole brain for each subject. The network-based statistics of connectome was used to perform group comparisons between patients and controls. The correlations between functional connectivity and clinical parameters were also performed. MDD patients had significant alterations in the network involving "theory of mind" regions, such as the left precentral gyrus, left angular gyrus, bilateral rolandic operculums and left inferior frontal gyrus. The center node of significant network was the left angular gyrus. No significant correlations of functional connectivity within the subnetwork and clinical parameters were noted. Functional connectivity of "theory of mind" subnetwork may be the core issue for pathophysiology in MDD. In addition, the center role of parietal region should be emphasized in future study. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Sparse coding reveals greater functional connectivity in female brains during naturalistic emotional experience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yudan Ren

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging is widely used to examine changes in brain function associated with age, gender or neuropsychiatric conditions. FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging studies employ either laboratory-designed tasks that engage the brain with abstracted and repeated stimuli, or resting state paradigms with little behavioral constraint. Recently, novel neuroimaging paradigms using naturalistic stimuli are gaining increasing attraction, as they offer an ecologically-valid condition to approximate brain function in real life. Wider application of naturalistic paradigms in exploring individual differences in brain function, however, awaits further advances in statistical methods for modeling dynamic and complex dataset. Here, we developed a novel data-driven strategy that employs group sparse representation to assess gender differences in brain responses during naturalistic emotional experience. Comparing to independent component analysis (ICA, sparse coding algorithm considers the intrinsic sparsity of neural coding and thus could be more suitable in modeling dynamic whole-brain fMRI signals. An online dictionary learning and sparse coding algorithm was applied to the aggregated fMRI signals from both groups, which was subsequently factorized into a common time series signal dictionary matrix and the associated weight coefficient matrix. Our results demonstrate that group sparse representation can effectively identify gender differences in functional brain network during natural viewing, with improved sensitivity and reliability over ICA-based method. Group sparse representation hence offers a superior data-driven strategy for examining brain function during naturalistic conditions, with great potential for clinical application in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  20. An atlas of the thioredoxin fold class reveals the complexity of function-enabling adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Holly J; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2009-10-01

    The group of proteins that contain a thioredoxin (Trx) fold is huge and diverse. Assessment of the variation in catalytic machinery of Trx fold proteins is essential in providing a foundation for understanding their functional diversity and predicting the function of the many uncharacterized members of the class. The proteins of the Trx fold class retain common features-including variations on a dithiol CxxC active site motif-that lead to delivery of function. We use protein similarity networks to guide an analysis of how structural and sequence motifs track with catalytic function and taxonomic categories for 4,082 representative sequences spanning the known superfamilies of the Trx fold. Domain structure in the fold class is varied and modular, with 2.8% of sequences containing more than one Trx fold domain. Most member proteins are bacterial. The fold class exhibits many modifications to the CxxC active site motif-only 56.8% of proteins have both cysteines, and no functional groupings have absolute conservation of the expected catalytic motif. Only a small fraction of Trx fold sequences have been functionally characterized. This work provides a global view of the complex distribution of domains and catalytic machinery throughout the fold class, showing that each superfamily contains remnants of the CxxC active site. The unifying context provided by this work can guide the comparison of members of different Trx fold superfamilies to gain insight about their structure-function relationships, illustrated here with the thioredoxins and peroxiredoxins.

  1. Functionalization of Planet-Satellite Nanostructures Revealed by Nanoscopic Localization of Distinct Macromolecular Species

    KAUST Repository

    Rossner, Christian; Roddatis, Vladimir; Lopatin, Sergei; Vana, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    The development of a straightforward method is reported to form hybrid polymer/gold planet-satellite nanostructures (PlSNs) with functional polymer. Polyacrylate type polymer with benzyl chloride in its backbone as a macromolecular tracer

  2. Purification and characterization of progenitor and mature human astrocytes reveals transcriptional and functional differences with mouse

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Ye; Sloan, Steven A.; Clarke, Laura E.; Caneda, Christine; Plaza, Colton A.; Blumenthal, Paul D.; Vogel, Hannes; Steinberg, Gary K.; Edwards, Michael S. B.; Li, Gordon; Duncan, John A.; Cheshier, Samuel H.; Shuer, Lawrence M.; Chang, Edward F.; Grant, Gerald A.

    2015-01-01

    The functional and molecular similarities and distinctions between human and murine astrocytes are poorly understood. Here we report the development of an immunopanning method to acutely purify astrocytes from fetal, juvenile, and adult human brains, and to maintain these cells in serum-free cultures. We found that human astrocytes have similar abilities to murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to exist...

  3. An integrative architecture for general intelligence and executive function revealed by lesion mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Solomon, Jeffrey; Krueger, Frank; Forbes, Chad; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control, the broader functional networks that support high-level cognition and give rise to general intelligence remain to be well characterized. Here, we investigated the neural substrates of the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function in 182 patients with focal brain damage using voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System were used to derive measures of g and executive function, respectively. Impaired performance on these measures was associated with damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain areas, including regions of frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, which bind these areas into a coordinated system. The observed findings support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of general intelligence and executive function, supporting their reliance upon a shared fronto-parietal network for the integration and control of cognitive representations and making specific recommendations for the application of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22396393

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been ...

  5. An Analysis of the Importance of Selected Functions of Counseling Centers in Public Colleges in the State of Maryland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Thomas S.; And Others

    Counseling center directors at colleges in the state of Maryland were asked to rate the importance of several selected functions of their counseling centers. The functions rated were: (1) psychological problem counseling; (2) reading and study skills assistance; (3) testing; (4) academic advisement; (5) college orientation; (6) evening student…

  6. Non-pharmacological modification of endothelial function: An important lesson for clinical practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Szulińska

    2018-03-01

    The impact of endothelial function in the complex pathology of cardiovascular diseases reflects a number of scientific proofs showing favorable effects of non-pharmacological interventions in endothelial dysfunction treatment.

  7. An atlas of the thioredoxin fold class reveals the complexity of function-enabling adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J Atkinson

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The group of proteins that contain a thioredoxin (Trx fold is huge and diverse. Assessment of the variation in catalytic machinery of Trx fold proteins is essential in providing a foundation for understanding their functional diversity and predicting the function of the many uncharacterized members of the class. The proteins of the Trx fold class retain common features-including variations on a dithiol CxxC active site motif-that lead to delivery of function. We use protein similarity networks to guide an analysis of how structural and sequence motifs track with catalytic function and taxonomic categories for 4,082 representative sequences spanning the known superfamilies of the Trx fold. Domain structure in the fold class is varied and modular, with 2.8% of sequences containing more than one Trx fold domain. Most member proteins are bacterial. The fold class exhibits many modifications to the CxxC active site motif-only 56.8% of proteins have both cysteines, and no functional groupings have absolute conservation of the expected catalytic motif. Only a small fraction of Trx fold sequences have been functionally characterized. This work provides a global view of the complex distribution of domains and catalytic machinery throughout the fold class, showing that each superfamily contains remnants of the CxxC active site. The unifying context provided by this work can guide the comparison of members of different Trx fold superfamilies to gain insight about their structure-function relationships, illustrated here with the thioredoxins and peroxiredoxins.

  8. Reorganization of Functional Brain Maps After Exercise Training: Importance of Cerebellar-Thalamic-Cortical Pathway

    OpenAIRE

    Holschneider, DP; Yang, J; Guo, Y; Maarek, J-M I

    2007-01-01

    Exercise training (ET) causes functional and morphologic changes in normal and injured brain. While studies have examined effects of short-term (same day) training on functional brain activation, less work has evaluated effects of long-term training, in particular treadmill running. An improved understanding is relevant as changes in neural reorganization typically require days to weeks, and treadmill training is a component of many neurorehabilitation programs.

  9. Simultaneous functional photoacoustic microscopy and electrocorticography reveal the impact of rtPA on dynamic neurovascular functions after cerebral ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandla, Aishwarya; Liao, Lun-De; Chan, Su Jing; Ling, Ji Min; Liu, Yu-Hang; Shih, Yen-Yu Ian; Pan, Han-Chi; Wong, Peter Tsun-Hon; Lai, Hsin-Yi; King, Nicolas Kon Kam; Chen, You-Yin; Ng, Wai Hoe; Thakor, Nitish V

    2018-06-01

    The advance of thrombolytic therapy has been hampered by the lack of optimization of the therapy during the hyperacute phase of focal ischemia. Here, we investigate neurovascular dynamics using a custom-designed hybrid electrocorticography (ECoG)-functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM) imaging system during the hyperacute phase (first 6 h) of photothrombotic ischemia (PTI) in male Wistar rats following recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA)-mediated thrombolysis. We reported, for the first time, the changes in neural activity and cerebral hemodynamic responses following rtPA infusion at different time points post PTI. Interestingly, very early administration of rtPA ( 4 h post PTI) resulted in the deterioration of neurovascular function. A therapeutic window between 1 and 3 h post PTI was found to improve recovery of neurovascular function (i.e. significant restoration of neural activity to 93 ± 4.2% of baseline and hemodynamics to 81 ± 2.1% of baseline, respectively). The novel combination of fPAM and ECoG enables direct mapping of neurovascular dynamics and serves as a platform to evaluate potential interventions for stroke.

  10. Importance of the correlation contribution for local hybrid functionals: range separation and self-interaction corrections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbuznikov, Alexei V; Kaupp, Martin

    2012-01-07

    Local hybrid functionals with their position-dependent exact-exchange admixture are a conceptually simple and promising extension of the concept of a hybrid functional. Local hybrids based on a simple mixing of the local spin density approximation (LSDA) with exact exchange have been shown to be successful for thermochemistry, reaction barriers, and a range of other properties. So far, the combination of this generation of local hybrids with an LSDA correlation functional has been found to give the most favorable results for atomization energies, for a range of local mixing functions (LMFs) governing the exact-exchange admixture. Here, we show that the choice of correlation functional to be used with local hybrid exchange crucially influences the parameterization also of the exchange part as well as the overall performance. A novel ansatz for the correlation part of local hybrids is suggested based on (i) range-separation of LSDA correlation into short-range (SR) and long-range (LR) parts, and (ii) partial or full elimination of the one-electron self-correlation from the SR part. It is shown that such modified correlation functionals allow overall larger exact exchange admixture in thermochemically competitive local hybrids than before. This results in improvements for reaction barriers and for other properties crucially influenced by self-interaction errors, as demonstrated by a number of examples. Based on the range-separation approach, a fresh view on the breakdown of the correlation energy into dynamical and non-dynamical parts is suggested.

  11. Functional assays and metagenomic analyses reveals differences between the microbial communities inhabiting the soil horizons of a Norway spruce plantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Uroz

    Full Text Available In temperate ecosystems, acidic forest soils are among the most nutrient-poor terrestrial environments. In this context, the long-term differentiation of the forest soils into horizons may impact the assembly and the functions of the soil microbial communities. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology and functional potentials of these microbial communities, a suite of analyses including comparative metagenomics was applied on independent soil samples from a spruce plantation (Breuil-Chenue, France. The objectives were to assess whether the decreasing nutrient bioavailability and pH variations that naturally occurs between the organic and mineral horizons affects the soil microbial functional biodiversity. The 14 Gbp of pyrosequencing and Illumina sequences generated in this study revealed complex microbial communities dominated by bacteria. Detailed analyses showed that the organic soil horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Bacteria, Chordata, Arthropoda and Ascomycota. On the contrary the mineral horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Archaea. Our analyses also highlighted that the microbial communities inhabiting the two soil horizons differed significantly in their functional potentials according to functional assays and MG-RAST analyses, suggesting a functional specialisation of these microbial communities. Consistent with this specialisation, our shotgun metagenomic approach revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of sequences related glycoside hydrolases in the organic horizon compared to the mineral horizon that was significantly enriched in glycoside transferases. This functional stratification according to the soil horizon was also confirmed by a significant correlation between the functional assays performed in this study and the functional metagenomic analyses. Together, our results suggest that the soil stratification and particularly the soil resource

  12. Intraoperative mapping during repeat awake craniotomy reveals the functional plasticity of adult cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwell, Derek G; Hervey-Jumper, Shawn L; Perry, David W; Berger, Mitchel S

    2016-05-01

    OBJECT To avoid iatrogenic injury during the removal of intrinsic cerebral neoplasms such as gliomas, direct electrical stimulation (DES) is used to identify cortical and subcortical white matter pathways critical for language, motor, and sensory function. When a patient undergoes more than 1 brain tumor resection as in the case of tumor recurrence, the use of DES provides an unusual opportunity to examine brain plasticity in the setting of neurological disease. METHODS The authors examined 561 consecutive cases in which patients underwent DES mapping during surgery forglioma resection. "Positive" and "negative" sites-discrete cortical regions where electrical stimulation did (positive) or did not (negative) produce transient sensory, motor, or language disturbance-were identified prior to tumor resection and documented by intraoperative photography for categorization into functional maps. In this group of 561 patients, 18 were identified who underwent repeat surgery in which 1 or more stimulation sites overlapped with those tested during the initial surgery. The authors compared intraoperative sensory, motor, or language mapping results between initial and repeat surgeries, and evaluated the clinical outcomes for these patients. RESULTS A total of 117 sites were tested for sensory (7 sites, 6.0%), motor (9 sites, 7.7%), or language (101 sites, 86.3%) function during both initial and repeat surgeries. The mean interval between surgical procedures was 4.1 years. During initial surgeries, 95 (81.2%) of 117 sites were found to be negative and 22 (18.8%) of 117 sites were found to be positive. During repeat surgeries, 103 (88.0%) of 117 sites were negative and 14 (12.0%) of 117 were positive. Of the 95 sites that were negative at the initial surgery, 94 (98.9%) were also negative at the repeat surgery, while 1 (1.1%) site was found to be positive. Of the 22 sites that were initially positive, 13 (59.1%) remained positive at repeat surgery, while 9 (40.9%) had become

  13. Positron Emission Tomography Reveals Abnormal Topological Organization in Functional Brain Network in Diabetic Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Xiangzhe; Zhang, Yanjun; Feng, Hongbo; Jiang, Donglang

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated alterations in the topological organization of structural brain networks in diabetes mellitus (DM). However, the DM-related changes in the topological properties in functional brain networks are unexplored so far. We therefore used fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) data to construct functional brain networks of 73 DM patients and 91 sex- and age-matched normal controls (NCs), followed by a graph theoretical analysis. We found that both DM patients and NCs had a small-world topology in functional brain network. In comparison to the NC group, the DM group was found to have significantly lower small-world index, lower normalized clustering coefficients and higher normalized characteristic path length. Moreover, for diabetic patients, the nodal centrality was significantly reduced in the right rectus, the right cuneus, the left middle occipital gyrus, and the left postcentral gyrus, and it was significantly increased in the orbitofrontal region of the left middle frontal gyrus, the left olfactory region, and the right paracentral lobule. Our results demonstrated that the diabetic brain was associated with disrupted topological organization in the functional PET network, thus providing functional evidence for the abnormalities of brain networks in DM.

  14. Positron Emission Tomography Reveals Abnormal Topological Organization in Functional Brain Network in Diabetic Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu eXiangzhe

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have demonstrated alterations in the topological organization of structural brain networks in diabetes mellitus (DM. However, the DM-related changes in the topological properties in functional brain networks are almost unexplored so far. We therefore used fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET data to construct functional brain networks of 73 DM patients and 91 sex- and age-matched normal controls (NCs, followed by a graph theoretical analysis. We found that both DM patients and NCs had a small-world topology in functional brain network. In comparison to the NC group, the DM group was found to have significantly lower small-world index, lower normalized clustering coefficients and higher normalized shortest path length. Moreover, for diabetic patients, the nodal centrality was significantly reduced in the right rectus, the right cuneus, the left middle occipital gyrus, and the left postcentral gyrus, and it was significantly increased in the orbitofrontal region of the left middle frontal gyrus, the left olfactory region, and the right paracentral lobule. Our results demonstrated that the diabetic brain was associated with disrupted topological organization in the functional PET network, thus providing the functional evidence for the abnormalities of brain networks in DM.

  15. Heterologous expression and transcript analysis of gibberellin biosynthetic genes of grasses reveals novel functionality in the GA3ox family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Stephen; Huttly, Alison K; Prosser, Ian M; Li, Yi-dan; Vaughan, Simon P; Gallova, Barbora; Patil, Archana; Coghill, Jane A; Dubcovsky, Jorge; Hedden, Peter; Phillips, Andrew L

    2015-06-05

    The gibberellin (GA) pathway plays a central role in the regulation of plant development, with the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-ODDs: GA20ox, GA3ox, GA2ox) that catalyse the later steps in the biosynthetic pathway of particularly importance in regulating bioactive GA levels. Although GA has important impacts on crop yield and quality, our understanding of the regulation of GA biosynthesis during wheat and barley development remains limited. In this study we identified or assembled genes encoding the GA 2-ODDs of wheat, barley and Brachypodium distachyon and characterised the wheat genes by heterologous expression and transcript analysis. The wheat, barley and Brachypodium genomes each contain orthologous copies of the GA20ox, GA3ox and GA2ox genes identified in rice, with the exception of OsGA3ox1 and OsGA2ox5 which are absent in these species. Some additional paralogs of 2-ODD genes were identified: notably, a novel gene in the wheat B genome related to GA3ox2 was shown to encode a GA 1-oxidase, named as TaGA1ox-B1. This enzyme is likely to be responsible for the abundant 1β-hydroxylated GAs present in developing wheat grains. We also identified a related gene in barley, located in a syntenic position to TaGA1ox-B1, that encodes a GA 3,18-dihydroxylase which similarly accounts for the accumulation of unusual GAs in barley grains. Transcript analysis showed that some paralogs of the different classes of 2-ODD were expressed mainly in a single tissue or at specific developmental stages. In particular, TaGA20ox3, TaGA1ox1, TaGA3ox3 and TaGA2ox7 were predominantly expressed in developing grain. More detailed analysis of grain-specific gene expression showed that while the transcripts of biosynthetic genes were most abundant in the endosperm, genes encoding inactivation and signalling components were more highly expressed in the seed coat and pericarp. The comprehensive expression and functional characterisation of the multigene families encoding the 2-ODD

  16. The scaling behavior of hand motions reveals self-organization during an executive function task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastas, Jason R.; Stephen, Damian G.; Dixon, James A.

    2011-05-01

    Recent approaches to cognition explain cognitive phenomena in terms of interaction-dominant dynamics. In the current experiment, we extend this approach to executive function, a construct used to describe flexible, goal-oriented behavior. Participants were asked to perform a widely used executive function task, card sorting, under two conditions. In one condition, participants were given a rule with which to sort the cards. In the other condition, participants had to induce the rule from experimenter feedback. The motion of each participant’s hand was tracked during the sorting task. Detrended fluctuation analysis was performed on the inter-point time series using a windowing strategy to capture changes over each trial. For participants in the induction condition, the Hurst exponent sharply increased and then decreased. The Hurst exponents for the explicit condition did not show this pattern. Our results suggest that executive function may be understood in terms of changes in stability that arise from interaction-dominant dynamics.

  17. Whole brain resting-state analysis reveals decreased functional connectivity in major depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilya M. Veer

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently, both increases and decreases in resting-state functional connectivity have been found in major depression. However, these studies only assessed functional connectivity within a specific network or between a few regions of interest, while comorbidity and use of medication was not always controlled for. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate whole-brain functional connectivity, unbiased by a priori definition of regions or networks of interest, in medication-free depressive patients without comorbidity. We analyzed resting-state fMRI data of 19 medication-free patients with a recent diagnosis of major depression (within six months before inclusion and no comorbidity, and 19 age- and gender-matched controls. Independent component analysis was employed on the concatenated data sets of all participants. Thirteen functionally relevant networks were identified, describing the entire study sample. Next, individual representations of the networks were created using a dual regression method. Statistical inference was subsequently done on these spatial maps using voxelwise permutation tests. Abnormal functional connectivity was found within three resting-state networks in depression: 1 decreased bilateral amygdala and left anterior insula connectivity in an affective network, 2 reduced connectivity of the left frontal pole in a network associated with attention and working memory, and 3 decreased bilateral lingual gyrus connectivity within ventromedial visual regions. None of these effects were associated with symptom severity or grey matter density. We found abnormal resting-state functional connectivity not previously associated with major depression, which might relate to abnormal affect regulation and mild cognitive deficits, both associated with the symptomatology of the disorder.

  18. A novel fragile X syndrome mutation reveals a conserved role for the carboxy-terminus in FMRP localization and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okray, Zeynep; de Esch, Celine E F; Van Esch, Hilde; Devriendt, Koen; Claeys, Annelies; Yan, Jiekun; Verbeeck, Jelle; Froyen, Guy; Willemsen, Rob; de Vrij, Femke M S; Hassan, Bassem A

    2015-04-01

    Loss of function of the FMR1 gene leads to fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of intellectual disability. The loss of FMR1 function is usually caused by epigenetic silencing of the FMR1 promoter leading to expansion and subsequent methylation of a CGG repeat in the 5' untranslated region. Very few coding sequence variations have been experimentally characterized and shown to be causal to the disease. Here, we describe a novel FMR1 mutation and reveal an unexpected nuclear export function for the C-terminus of FMRP. We screened a cohort of patients with typical FXS symptoms who tested negative for CGG repeat expansion in the FMR1 locus. In one patient, we identified a guanine insertion in FMR1 exon 15. This mutation alters the open reading frame creating a short novel C-terminal sequence, followed by a stop codon. We find that this novel peptide encodes a functional nuclear localization signal (NLS) targeting the patient FMRP to the nucleolus in human cells. We also reveal an evolutionarily conserved nuclear export function associated with the endogenous C-terminus of FMRP. In vivo analyses in Drosophila demonstrate that a patient-mimetic mutation alters the localization and function of Dfmrp in neurons, leading to neomorphic neuronal phenotypes. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

  19. Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Bates, Amanda E; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett; Baker, Susan C; Thomson, Russell J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Hill, Nicole A; Kininmonth, Stuart J; Airoldi, Laura; Becerro, Mikel A; Campbell, Stuart J; Dawson, Terence P; Navarrete, Sergio A; Soler, German A; Strain, Elisabeth M A; Willis, Trevor J; Edgar, Graham J

    2013-09-26

    Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, this is changing rapidly, as it is now recognized that not only the number of species but the species present, their phenotypes and the number of individuals of each species are critical in determining the nature and strength of the relationships between species diversity and a range of ecological functions (such as biomass production and nutrient cycling). Integrating these measures should provide a more relevant representation of global biodiversity patterns in terms of ecological functions than that provided by simple species counts. Here we provide comparisons of a traditional global biodiversity distribution measure based on richness with metrics that incorporate species abundances and functional traits. We use data from standardized quantitative surveys of 2,473 marine reef fish species at 1,844 sites, spanning 133 degrees of latitude from all ocean basins, to identify new diversity hotspots in some temperate regions and the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. These relate to high diversity of functional traits amongst individuals in the community (calculated using Rao's Q), and differ from previously reported patterns in functional diversity and richness for terrestrial animals, which emphasize species-rich tropical regions only. There is a global trend for greater evenness in the number of individuals of each species, across the reef fish species observed at sites ('community evenness'), at higher latitudes. This contributes to the distribution of functional diversity hotspots and contrasts with well-known latitudinal gradients in richness. Our findings suggest that the contribution of species diversity to a range of

  20. Functional genomic screening reveals asparagine dependence as a metabolic vulnerability in sarcoma

    OpenAIRE

    Hettmer, Simone; Schinzel, Anna C; Tchessalova, Daria; Schneider, Michaela; Parker, Christina L; Bronson, Roderick T; Richards, Nigel GJ; Hahn, William C; Wagers, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    eLife digest Sarcoma is a type of cancer that forms in the connective tissues of the body, such as bone, cartilage, muscle and fat. Usually, treatment involves surgical removal of the tumor and/or radiation to kill the tumor cells. However, if sarcomas spread to other parts of the body, the treatment options are limited. Genetic studies have revealed several genetic changes that contribute to the formation of sarcomas. Many sarcomas have a mutation in a gene that encodes a protein called Ras....

  1. Computational Approaches Reveal New Insights into Regulation and Function of Non; coding RNAs and their Targets

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Tanvir

    2016-01-01

    Regulation and function of protein-coding genes are increasingly well-understood, but no comparable evidence exists for non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes, which appear to be more numerous than protein-coding genes. We developed a novel machine

  2. Mapping functional connectivity in barrel-related columns reveals layer- and cell type-specific microcircuits.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schubert, D.; Kotter, R.; Staiger, J.F.

    2007-01-01

    Synaptic circuits bind together functional modules of the neocortex. We aim to clarify in a rodent model how intra- and transcolumnar microcircuits in the barrel cortex are laid out to segregate and also integrate sensory information. The primary somatosensory (barrel) cortex of rodents is the ideal

  3. Tissue Doppler echocardiography reveals impaired cardiac function in patients with reversible ischaemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Søren; Mogelvang, Rasmus; Sogaard, Peter

    2011-01-01

    AIMS: To determine if echocardiographic tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) performed at rest detects reduced myocardial function in patients with reversible ischaemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eighty-four patients with angina pectoris, no previous history of ischaemic heart disease and normal left ventricu...

  4. Functional characterisation of an intron retaining K+ transporter of barley reveals intron-mediated alternate splicing

    KAUST Repository

    Shahzad, K.; Rauf, M.; Ahmed, M.; Malik, Z. A.; Habib, I.; Ahmed, Z.; Mahmood, K.; Ali, R.; Masmoudi, K.; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Gehring, Christoph A; Berkowitz, G. A.; Saeed, N. A.

    2015-01-01

    Intron retention in transcripts and the presence of 5 and 3 splice sites within these introns mediate alternate splicing, which is widely observed in animals and plants. Here, functional characterisation of the K+ transporter, HvHKT2;1, with stably

  5. Lipid profiling and transcriptomic analysis reveals a functional interplay between estradiol and growth hormone in liver

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Pérez, Leandro; Santana-Farré, Ruymán; Mirecki-Garrido, Mercedes de

    2014-01-01

    17β-estradiol (E2) may interfere with endocrine, metabolic, and gender-differentiated functions in liver in both females and males. Indirect mechanisms play a crucial role because of the E2 influence on the pituitary GH secretion and the GHR-JAK2-STAT5 signaling pathway in the target tissues. E2,...

  6. Revealing complex function, process and pathway interactions with high-throughput expression and biological annotation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Ernst, Mathias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Fuellen, Georg; Taher, Leila

    2016-10-20

    The biological relationships both between and within the functions, processes and pathways that operate within complex biological systems are only poorly characterized, making the interpretation of large scale gene expression datasets extremely challenging. Here, we present an approach that integrates gene expression and biological annotation data to identify and describe the interactions between biological functions, processes and pathways that govern a phenotype of interest. The product is a global, interconnected network, not of genes but of functions, processes and pathways, that represents the biological relationships within the system. We validated our approach on two high-throughput expression datasets describing organismal and organ development. Our findings are well supported by the available literature, confirming that developmental processes and apoptosis play key roles in cell differentiation. Furthermore, our results suggest that processes related to pluripotency and lineage commitment, which are known to be critical for development, interact mainly indirectly, through genes implicated in more general biological processes. Moreover, we provide evidence that supports the relevance of cell spatial organization in the developing liver for proper liver function. Our strategy can be viewed as an abstraction that is useful to interpret high-throughput data and devise further experiments.

  7. Diversity and functions of bacterial community in drinking water biofilms revealed by high-throughput sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Yuanqing; Mao, Yanping; Wang, Zhiping; Zhang, Tong

    2015-06-01

    The development of biofilms in drinking water (DW) systems may cause various problems to water quality. To investigate the community structure of biofilms on different pipe materials and the global/specific metabolic functions of DW biofilms, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing data for 16S rRNA genes and Illumina metagenomic data were generated and analysed. Considerable differences in bacterial diversity and taxonomic structure were identified between biofilms formed on stainless steel and biofilms formed on plastics, indicating that the metallic materials facilitate the formation of higher diversity biofilms. Moreover, variations in several dominant genera were observed during biofilm formation. Based on PCA analysis, the global functions in the DW biofilms were similar to other DW metagenomes. Beyond the global functions, the occurrences and abundances of specific protective genes involved in the glutathione metabolism, the SoxRS system, the OxyR system, RpoS regulated genes, and the production/degradation of extracellular polymeric substances were also evaluated. A near-complete and low-contamination draft genome was constructed from the metagenome of the DW biofilm, based on the coverage and tetranucleotide frequencies, and identified as a Bradyrhizobiaceae-like bacterium according to a phylogenetic analysis. Our findings provide new insight into DW biofilms, especially in terms of their metabolic functions.

  8. Functional SNPs in the human ficolin (FCN) genes reveal distinct geographical patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hummelshøj, Tina; Munthe-Fog, Lea; Madsen, Hans O

    2008-01-01

    -Xaa-Yaa repeats and a Trp279STOP introduces a stop codon, thereby destroying the fibrinogen-like domain of Ficolin-1. In contrast to FCN1 and FCN2, the number of SNPs in FCN3 was very low. In conclusion, large ethnic differences in the FCN genes that will affect the concentration, structure, and function...

  9. Activation of auditory white matter tracts as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tae, Woo Suk [Kangwon National University, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Medicine, Chuncheon (Korea, Republic of); Yakunina, Natalia; Nam, Eui-Cheol [Kangwon National University, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Medicine, Chuncheon (Korea, Republic of); Kangwon National University, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Kangwon-do (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Tae Su [Kangwon National University Hospital, Department of Otolaryngology, Chuncheon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Sam Soo [Kangwon National University, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Medicine, Chuncheon (Korea, Republic of); Kangwon National University, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Chuncheon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-07-15

    The ability of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect activation in brain white matter (WM) is controversial. In particular, studies on the functional activation of WM tracts in the central auditory system are scarce. We utilized fMRI to assess and characterize the entire auditory WM pathway under robust experimental conditions involving the acquisition of a large number of functional volumes, the application of broadband auditory stimuli of high intensity, and the use of sparse temporal sampling to avoid scanner noise effects and increase signal-to-noise ratio. Nineteen healthy volunteers were subjected to broadband white noise in a block paradigm; each run had four sound-on/off alternations and was repeated nine times for each subject. Sparse sampling (TR = 8 s) was used. In addition to traditional gray matter (GM) auditory center activation, WM activation was detected in the isthmus and midbody of the corpus callosum (CC), tapetum, auditory radiation, lateral lemniscus, and decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncles. At the individual level, 13 of 19 subjects (68 %) had CC activation. Callosal WM exhibited a temporal delay of approximately 8 s in response to the stimulation compared with GM. These findings suggest that direct evaluation of the entire functional network of the central auditory system may be possible using fMRI, which may aid in understanding the neurophysiological basis of the central auditory system and in developing treatment strategies for various central auditory disorders. (orig.)

  10. Activation of auditory white matter tracts as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tae, Woo Suk; Yakunina, Natalia; Nam, Eui-Cheol; Kim, Tae Su; Kim, Sam Soo

    2014-01-01

    The ability of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect activation in brain white matter (WM) is controversial. In particular, studies on the functional activation of WM tracts in the central auditory system are scarce. We utilized fMRI to assess and characterize the entire auditory WM pathway under robust experimental conditions involving the acquisition of a large number of functional volumes, the application of broadband auditory stimuli of high intensity, and the use of sparse temporal sampling to avoid scanner noise effects and increase signal-to-noise ratio. Nineteen healthy volunteers were subjected to broadband white noise in a block paradigm; each run had four sound-on/off alternations and was repeated nine times for each subject. Sparse sampling (TR = 8 s) was used. In addition to traditional gray matter (GM) auditory center activation, WM activation was detected in the isthmus and midbody of the corpus callosum (CC), tapetum, auditory radiation, lateral lemniscus, and decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncles. At the individual level, 13 of 19 subjects (68 %) had CC activation. Callosal WM exhibited a temporal delay of approximately 8 s in response to the stimulation compared with GM. These findings suggest that direct evaluation of the entire functional network of the central auditory system may be possible using fMRI, which may aid in understanding the neurophysiological basis of the central auditory system and in developing treatment strategies for various central auditory disorders. (orig.)

  11. The Importance of REST for Development and Function of Beta Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martin, David; Grapin-Botton, Anne

    2017-01-01

    that are crucial for both neuronal and pancreatic endocrine function, through the recruitment of multiple transcriptional and epigenetic co-regulators. REST targets include genes encoding transcription factors, proteins involved in exocytosis, synaptic transmission or ion channeling, and non-coding RNAs. REST......Beta cells are defined by the genes they express, many of which are specific to this cell type, and ensure a specific set of functions. Beta cells are also defined by a set of genes they should not express (in order to function properly), and these genes have been called forbidden genes. Among...... these, the transcriptional repressor RE-1 Silencing Transcription factor (REST) is expressed in most cells of the body, excluding most populations of neurons, as well as pancreatic beta and alpha cells. In the cell types where it is expressed, REST represses the expression of hundreds of genes...

  12. Proteomics of Fusarium oxysporum race 1 and race 4 reveals enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and ion transport that might play important roles in banana Fusarium wilt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yong; Yi, Xiaoping; Peng, Ming; Zeng, Huicai; Wang, Dan; Li, Bo; Tong, Zheng; Chang, Lili; Jin, Xiang; Wang, Xuchu

    2014-01-01

    Banana Fusarium wilt is a soil-spread fungal disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum. In China, the main virulence fungi in banana are F. oxysporum race 1 (F1, weak virulence) and race 4 (F4, strong virulence). To date, no proteomic analyses have compared the two races, but the difference in virulence between F1 and F4 might result from their differentially expressed proteins. Here we report the first comparative proteomics of F1 and F4 cultured under various conditions, and finally identify 99 protein species, which represent 59 unique proteins. These proteins are mainly involved in carbohydrate metabolism, post-translational modification, energy production, and inorganic ion transport. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that among the 46 proteins identified from F4 were several enzymes that might be important for virulence. Reverse transcription PCR analysis of the genes for 15 of the 56 proteins revealed that their transcriptional patterns were similar to their protein expression patterns. Taken together, these data suggest that proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism and ion transport may be important in the pathogenesis of banana Fusarium wilt. Some enzymes such as catalase-peroxidase, galactosidase and chitinase might contribute to the strong virulence of F4. Overexpression or knockout of the genes for the F4-specific proteins will help us to further understand the molecular mechanism of Fusarium-induced banana wilt.

  13. Graph theoretical analysis reveals disrupted topological properties of whole brain functional networks in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Junjing; Qiu, Shijun; Xu, Yong; Liu, Zhenyin; Wen, Xue; Hu, Xiangshu; Zhang, Ruibin; Li, Meng; Wang, Wensheng; Huang, Ruiwang

    2014-09-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is one of the most common forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. Previous studies have indicated that the TLE-related impairments existed in extensive local functional networks. However, little is known about the alterations in the topological properties of whole brain functional networks. In this study, we acquired resting-state BOLD-fMRI (rsfMRI) data from 26 TLE patients and 25 healthy controls, constructed their whole brain functional networks, compared the differences in topological parameters between the TLE patients and the controls, and analyzed the correlation between the altered topological properties and the epilepsy duration. The TLE patients showed significant increases in clustering coefficient and characteristic path length, but significant decrease in global efficiency compared to the controls. We also found altered nodal parameters in several regions in the TLE patients, such as the bilateral angular gyri, left middle temporal gyrus, right hippocampus, triangular part of left inferior frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal but supramarginal and angular gyri, and left parahippocampus gyrus. Further correlation analysis showed that the local efficiency of the TLE patients correlated positively with the epilepsy duration. Our results indicated the disrupted topological properties of whole brain functional networks in TLE patients. Our findings indicated the TLE-related impairments in the whole brain functional networks, which may help us to understand the clinical symptoms of TLE patients and offer a clue for the diagnosis and treatment of the TLE patients. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The Importance of Clinical and Diagnostic Markers of Aggression of Non-Functional Pituitary Adenomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu.M. Urmanova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sixty patients with non-functional pituitary adenomas were observed. Most patients had large-cell chromophobe pituitary adenomas (81.6%. Small-cell chromophobe adenomas occurred in 10 % cases. Only 1 patient (3.3 % had giant carcinoma with regrowth and metastasis into the brain. Markers of aggression of non-functional pituitary adenomas are the young age of a patient, expressed first symptoms of disease manifestation, large size of tumor, asymmetry and deformation of pituitary, invasion of tumor to the neighboring tissues/arteries/cavernous sinus, presence of small cell and dark-cell chromophobe adenoma, panhypopituitarism.

  15. Functions important to nuclear power plant safety, and training and qualification of personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    The requirements for the safe operation of the organisation attending to direct operational, the maintenance and the technical support functions of a nuclear power plant are defined in the guide. The basic education, work experience and medical fitness for the job required during recruitment, the requirements relating to the initial training of a person for his job and certain job-specific approvals granted separately are presented. General requirements for the training function and for the refresher and continuing training arranged by the licence-holder are also set out. (1 ref.)

  16. The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meckfessel, Matthew H; Brandt, Staci

    2014-07-01

    Ceramides (CERs) are epidermal lipids that are important for skin barrier function. Much research has been devoted to identifying the numerous CERs found in human skin and their function. Alterations in CER content are associated with a number of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis. Newer formulations of skin-care products have incorporated CERs into their formulations with the goal of exogenously applying CERs to help skin barrier function. CERs are a complex class of molecules and because of their growing ubiquity in skin-care products, a clear understanding of their role in skin and use in skin-care products is essential for clinicians treating patients with skin diseases. This review provides an overview of the structure, function, and importance of skin CERs in diseased skin and how CERs are being used in skin-care products to improve or restore skin barrier function. Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 6-year-old girl with anorectal malformation: what is more important – anatomy or function?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry A. Morozov

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available 6-year-old girl with first revealed anorectal malformation with perineal fistula was investigate. She did not have any complaints or history of constipation/soiling. Resting and squeeze anal pressure by anorectal manometry was normal. Recto-anal inhibitory reflex registered. There was no signs of dyssynergic defecation. The diameter of the colon by contrast enema was normal, megarectum did not detect, barium all came out after defecation. Muscles electro-identification confirmed external anal sphincter located posterior to the anus. After examination, council for Pediatric Surgery decided not to perform the surgery. Monitoring of the patient continued.

  18. Prognostic importance of renal function in patients with early heart failure and mild left ventricular dysfunction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smilde, Tom; Hillege, Hans; Voors, Adriaan; Dunselman, P.H.J.; Van Veldhuisen, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated the prognostic value of renal function in an initially “untreated” population with mild heart failure and compared the prognosis of this population with a matched controlled population. During a follow-up of 13 years (mean 11.7), 90 patients (56%) died. Mortality was higher compared

  19. How Language Learners Can Improve Their Emotional Functioning: Important Psychological and Psychospiritual Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oxford, Rebecca L.

    2015-01-01

    Emotion is "the primary human motive" (MacIntyre, 2002, p. 61). The human brain is an emotional brain, creating relationships among thought, emotion, and motivation in a complex dynamic system (Dörnyei, 2009). Emotion "functions as an amplifier, providing the intensity, urgency, and energy to propel our behavior" in…

  20. Self-Monitoring Interventions for At-Risk Middle School Students: The Importance of Considering Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briere, Donald E., III; Simonsen, Brandi

    2011-01-01

    Self-monitoring is a popular, efficient, and effective intervention that is associated with improved academic and social behavior for students across age and ability levels. To date, this is the first study to directly compare the outcomes of self-monitoring functionally relevant and non-relevant replacement behaviors. Specifically, we used an…

  1. Recovery of important physiological functions in 3D culture of immortal hepatocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wrzesinski, Krzysztof; Fey, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    to grow human liver cells in ‘3 dimensional’ cultures so that they behave very similar to the liver in our bodies. By growing the immortal hepatocytes in specially designed bioreactors they form small pieces of ‘pseudotissue’ which exhibit several of the functions seen in the adult liver. We have grown...

  2. Keeping the LINC: the importance of nucleocytoskeletal coupling in intracellular force transmission and cellular function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Maria L; Lammerding, Jan

    2011-12-01

    Providing a stable physical connection between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton is essential for a wide range of cellular functions and it could also participate in mechanosensing by transmitting intra- and extra-cellular mechanical stimuli via the cytoskeleton to the nucleus. Nesprins and SUN proteins, located at the nuclear envelope, form the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex that connects the nucleus to the cytoskeleton; underlying nuclear lamins contribute to anchoring LINC complex components at the nuclear envelope. Disruption of the LINC complex or loss of lamins can result in disturbed perinuclear actin and intermediate filament networks and causes severe functional defects, including impaired nuclear positioning, cell polarization and cell motility. Recent studies have identified the LINC complex as the major force-transmitting element at the nuclear envelope and suggest that many of the aforementioned defects can be attributed to disturbed force transmission between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton. Thus mutations in nesprins, SUN proteins or lamins, which have been linked to muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies, may weaken or completely eliminate LINC complex function at the nuclear envelope and result in impaired intracellular force transmission, thereby disrupting critical cellular functions.

  3. Functional Analysis of In-frame Indel ARID1A Mutations Reveals New Regulatory Mechanisms of Its Tumor Suppressor Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Guan

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A has emerged as a new tumor suppressor in which frequent somatic mutations have been identified in several types of human cancers. Although most ARID1A somatic mutations are frame-shift or nonsense mutations that contribute to mRNA decay and loss of protein expression, 5% of ARID1A mutations are in-frame insertions or deletions (indels that involve only a small stretch of peptides. Naturally occurring in-frame indel mutations provide unique and useful models to explore the biology and regulatory role of ARID1A. In this study, we analyzed indel mutations identified in gynecological cancers to determine how these mutations affect the tumor suppressor function of ARID1A. Our results demonstrate that all in-frame mutants analyzed lost their ability to inhibit cellular proliferation or activate transcription of CDKN1A, which encodes p21, a downstream effector of ARID1A. We also showed that ARID1A is a nucleocytoplasmic protein whose stability depends on its subcellular localization. Nuclear ARID1A is less stable than cytoplasmic ARID1A because ARID1A is rapidly degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system in the nucleus. In-frame deletions affecting the consensus nuclear export signal reduce steady-state protein levels of ARID1A. This defect in nuclear exportation leads to nuclear retention and subsequent degradation. Our findings delineate a mechanism underlying the regulation of ARID1A subcellular distribution and protein stability and suggest that targeting the nuclear ubiquitin-proteasome system can increase the amount of the ARID1A protein in the nucleus and restore its tumor suppressor functions.

  4. The Importance of Take-Out Food Packaging Attributes: Conjoint Analysis and Quality Function Deployment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari Widaningrum, Dyah

    2014-03-01

    This research aims to investigate the importance of take-out food packaging attributes, using conjoint analysis and QFD approach among consumers of take-out food products in Jakarta, Indonesia. The conjoint results indicate that perception about packaging material (such as paper, plastic, and polystyrene foam) plays the most important role overall in consumer perception. The clustering results that there is strong segmentation in which take-out food packaging material consumer consider most important. Some consumers are mostly oriented toward the colour of packaging, while another segment of customers concerns on packaging shape and packaging information. Segmentation variables based on packaging response can provide very useful information to maximize image of products through the package's impact. The results of House of Quality development described that Conjoint Analysis - QFD is a useful combination of the two methodologies in product development, market segmentation, and the trade off between customers' requirements in the early stages of HOQ process

  5. Functionalization of Planet-Satellite Nanostructures Revealed by Nanoscopic Localization of Distinct Macromolecular Species

    KAUST Repository

    Rossner, Christian

    2016-09-26

    The development of a straightforward method is reported to form hybrid polymer/gold planet-satellite nanostructures (PlSNs) with functional polymer. Polyacrylate type polymer with benzyl chloride in its backbone as a macromolecular tracer is synthesized to study its localization within PlSNs by analyzing the elemental distribution of chlorine. The functionalized nanohybrid structures are analyzed by scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and spectrum imaging. The results show that the RAFT (reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer) polymers\\' sulfur containing end groups are colocalized at the gold cores, both within nanohybrids of simple core-shell morphology and within higher order PlSNs, providing microscopic evidence for the affinity of the RAFT group toward gold surfaces. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA., Weinheim.

  6. Functional Asymmetries Revealed in Visually Guided Saccades: An fMRI Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petit, L.; Zago, L.; Vigneau, M.; Crivello, F.; Mazoyer, B.; Mellet, E.; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. [Centre for Imaging, Neurosciences and Applications to Pathologies, UMR6232 CNRS CEA (France); Mazoyer, B. [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Caen (France); Andersson, F. [Institut Federatif de Recherche 135, Imagerie fonctionnelle, Tours (France); Mazoyer, B. [Institut Universitaire de France, Paris (France)

    2009-07-01

    Because eye movements are a fundamental tool for spatial exploration, we hypothesized that the neural bases of these movements in humans should be under right cerebral dominance, as already described for spatial attention. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 right-handed participants who alternated central fixation with either large or small visually guided saccades (VGS), equally performed in both directions. Hemispheric functional asymmetry was analyzed to identify whether brain regions showing VGS activation elicited hemispheric asymmetries. Hemispheric anatomical asymmetry was also estimated to assess its influence on the VGS functional lateralization. Right asymmetrical activations of a saccadic/attentional system were observed in the lateral frontal eye fields (FEF), the anterior part of the intra-parietal sulcus (aIPS), the posterior third of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), the occipito-temporal junction (MT/V5 area), the middle occipital gyrus, and medially along the calcarine fissure (V1). The present rightward functional asymmetries were not related to differences in gray matter (GM) density/sulci positions between right and left hemispheres in the pre-central, intra-parietal, superior temporal, and extrastriate regions. Only V1 asymmetries were explained for almost 20% of the variance by a difference in the position of the right and left calcarine fissures. Left asymmetrical activations of a saccadic motor system were observed in the medial FEF and in the motor strip eye field along the Rolando sulcus. They were not explained by GM asymmetries. We suggest that the leftward saccadic motor asymmetry is part of a general dominance of the left motor cortex in right-handers, which must include an effect of sighting dominance. Our results demonstrate that, although bilateral by nature, the brain network involved in the execution of VGSs, irrespective of their direction, presented specific right and left asymmetries that were not related to

  7. Functional Asymmetries Revealed in Visually Guided Saccades: An fMRI Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petit, L.; Zago, L.; Vigneau, M.; Crivello, F.; Mazoyer, B.; Mellet, E.; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N.; Mazoyer, B.; Andersson, F.; Mazoyer, B.

    2009-01-01

    Because eye movements are a fundamental tool for spatial exploration, we hypothesized that the neural bases of these movements in humans should be under right cerebral dominance, as already described for spatial attention. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 right-handed participants who alternated central fixation with either large or small visually guided saccades (VGS), equally performed in both directions. Hemispheric functional asymmetry was analyzed to identify whether brain regions showing VGS activation elicited hemispheric asymmetries. Hemispheric anatomical asymmetry was also estimated to assess its influence on the VGS functional lateralization. Right asymmetrical activations of a saccadic/attentional system were observed in the lateral frontal eye fields (FEF), the anterior part of the intra-parietal sulcus (aIPS), the posterior third of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), the occipito-temporal junction (MT/V5 area), the middle occipital gyrus, and medially along the calcarine fissure (V1). The present rightward functional asymmetries were not related to differences in gray matter (GM) density/sulci positions between right and left hemispheres in the pre-central, intra-parietal, superior temporal, and extrastriate regions. Only V1 asymmetries were explained for almost 20% of the variance by a difference in the position of the right and left calcarine fissures. Left asymmetrical activations of a saccadic motor system were observed in the medial FEF and in the motor strip eye field along the Rolando sulcus. They were not explained by GM asymmetries. We suggest that the leftward saccadic motor asymmetry is part of a general dominance of the left motor cortex in right-handers, which must include an effect of sighting dominance. Our results demonstrate that, although bilateral by nature, the brain network involved in the execution of VGSs, irrespective of their direction, presented specific right and left asymmetries that were not related to

  8. Decoupling phylogenetic and functional diversity to reveal hidden signals in community assembly

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    de Bello, Francesco; Šmilauer, P.; Diniz-Filho, J. A. F.; Carmona, C. P.; Lososová, Z.; Herben, Tomáš; Götzenberger, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 10 (2017), s. 1200-1211 ISSN 2041-210X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-15012S; GA ČR GB14-36079G EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 267243 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community ecology * phylogenetic diversity * functional diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 5.708, year: 2016

  9. The functional micro-organization of grid cells revealed by cellular-resolution imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heys, James G; Rangarajan, Krsna V; Dombeck, Daniel A

    2014-12-03

    Establishing how grid cells are anatomically arranged, on a microscopic scale, in relation to their firing patterns in the environment would facilitate a greater microcircuit-level understanding of the brain's representation of space. However, all previous grid cell recordings used electrode techniques that provide limited descriptions of fine-scale organization. We therefore developed a technique for cellular-resolution functional imaging of medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) neurons in mice navigating a virtual linear track, enabling a new experimental approach to study MEC. Using these methods, we show that grid cells are physically clustered in MEC compared to nongrid cells. Additionally, we demonstrate that grid cells are functionally micro-organized: the similarity between the environment firing locations of grid cell pairs varies as a function of the distance between them according to a "Mexican hat"-shaped profile. This suggests that, on average, nearby grid cells have more similar spatial firing phases than those further apart. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Comprehensive proteome analysis of lysosomes reveals the diverse function of macrophages in immune responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yanpan; Chen, Yanyu; Zhan, Shaohua; Zhang, Wenhao; Xiong, Feng; Ge, Wei

    2017-01-31

    Phagocytosis and autophagy in macrophages have been shown to be essential to both innate and adaptive immunity. Lysosomes are the main catabolic subcellular organelles responsible for degradation and recycling of both extracellular and intracellular material, which are the final steps in phagocytosis and autophagy. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying lysosomal functions after infection remain obscure. In this study, we conducted a quantitative proteomics analysis of the changes in constitution and glycosylation of proteins in lysosomes derived from murine RAW 264.7 macrophage cells treated with different types of pathogens comprising examples of bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes, L. m), DNA viruses (herpes simplex virus type-1, HSV-1) and RNA viruses (vesicular stomatitis virus, VSV). In total, 3,704 lysosome-related proteins and 300 potential glycosylation sites on 193 proteins were identified. Comparative analysis showed that the aforementioned pathogens induced distinct alterations in the proteome of the lysosome, which is closely associated with the immune functions of macrophages, such as toll-like receptor activation, inflammation and antigen-presentation. The most significant changes in proteins and fluctuations in glycosylation were also determined. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that the changes in expression of these proteins were undetectable at the whole cell level. Thus, our study provides unique insights into the function of lysosomes in macrophage activation and immune responses.

  11. Comparative genomics provides insights into the lifestyle and reveals functional heterogeneity of dark septate endophytic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Dániel G; Németh, Julianna B; Barry, Kerrie; Hainaut, Matthieu; Henrissat, Bernard; Johnson, Jenifer; Kuo, Alan; Lim, Joanne Hui Ping; Lipzen, Anna; Nolan, Matt; Ohm, Robin A; Tamás, László; Grigoriev, Igor V; Spatafora, Joseph W; Nagy, László G; Kovács, Gábor M

    2018-04-20

    Dark septate endophytes (DSE) are a form-group of root endophytic fungi with elusive functions. Here, the genomes of two common DSE of semiarid areas, Cadophora sp. and Periconia macrospinosa were sequenced and analyzed with another 32 ascomycetes of different lifestyles. Cadophora sp. (Helotiales) and P. macrospinosa (Pleosporales) have genomes of 70.46 Mb and 54.99 Mb with 22,766 and 18,750 gene models, respectively. The majority of DSE-specific protein clusters lack functional annotation with no similarity to characterized proteins, implying that they have evolved unique genetic innovations. Both DSE possess an expanded number of carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), including plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs). Those were similar in three other DSE, and contributed a signal for the separation of root endophytes in principal component analyses of CAZymes, indicating shared genomic traits of DSE fungi. Number of secreted proteases and lipases, aquaporins, and genes linked to melanin synthesis were also relatively high in our fungi. In spite of certain similarities between our two DSE, we observed low levels of convergence in their gene family evolution. This suggests that, despite originating from the same habitat, these two fungi evolved along different evolutionary trajectories and display considerable functional differences within the endophytic lifestyle.

  12. Sex differences in functional activation patterns revealed by increased emotion processing demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Geoffrey B C; Witelson, Sandra F; Szechtman, Henry; Nahmias, Claude

    2004-02-09

    Two [O(15)] PET studies assessed sex differences regional brain activation in the recognition of emotional stimuli. Study I revealed that the recognition of emotion in visual faces resulted in bilateral frontal activation in women, and unilateral right-sided activation in men. In study II, the complexity of the emotional face task was increased through tje addition of associated auditory emotional stimuli. Men again showed unilateral frontal activation, in this case to the left; whereas women did not show bilateral frontal activation, but showed greater limbic activity. These results suggest that when processing broader cross-modal emotional stimuli, men engage more in associative cognitive strategies while women draw more on primary emotional references.

  13. Functional gene polymorphism to reveal species history: the case of the CRTISO gene in cultivated carrots.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Soufflet-Freslon

    Full Text Available Carrot is a vegetable cultivated worldwide for the consumption of its root. Historical data indicate that root colour has been differentially selected over time and according to geographical areas. Root pigmentation depends on the relative proportion of different carotenoids for the white, yellow, orange and red types but only internally for the purple one. The genetic control for root carotenoid content might be partially associated with carotenoid biosynthetic genes. Carotenoid isomerase (CRTISO has emerged as a regulatory step in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway and could be a good candidate to show how a metabolic pathway gene reflects a species genetic history.In this study, the nucleotide polymorphism and the linkage disequilibrium among the complete CRTISO sequence, and the deviation from neutral expectation were analysed by considering population subdivision revealed with 17 microsatellite markers. A sample of 39 accessions, which represented different geographical origins and root colours, was used. Cultivated carrot was divided into two genetic groups: one from Middle East and Asia (Eastern group, and another one mainly from Europe (Western group. The Western and Eastern genetic groups were suggested to be differentially affected by selection: a signature of balancing selection was detected within the first group whereas the second one showed no selection. A focus on orange-rooted carrots revealed that cultivars cultivated in Asia were mainly assigned to the Western group but showed CRTISO haplotypes common to Eastern carrots.The carotenoid pathway CRTISO gene data proved to be complementary to neutral markers in order to bring critical insight in the cultivated carrot history. We confirmed the occurrence of two migration events since domestication. Our results showed a European background in material from Japan and Central Asia. While confirming the introduction of European carrots in Japanese resources, the history of Central Asia

  14. Lateral Variations of the Mantle Transition Zone Structure beneath the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau Revealed by P-wave Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Y.; Ai, Y.; Jiang, M.; He, Y.; Chen, Q.

    2017-12-01

    The deep structure of the southeastern Tibetan plateau is of great scientific importance to a better understanding of the India-Eurasia collision as well as the evolution of the magnificent Tibetan plateau. In this study, we collected 566 permanent and temporary seismic stations deployed in SE Tibet, with a total of 77853 high quality P-wave receiver functions been extracted by maximum entropy deconvolution method. On the basis of the Common Conversion Point (CCP) stacking technique, we mapped the topography of the 410km and 660km discontinuities (hereinafter called the `410' and the `660'), and further investigated the lateral variation of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) thickness beneath this region. The background velocity model deduced from H-κ stacking results and a previous body-wave tomographic research was applied for the correction of the crustal and upper mantle heterogeneities beneath SE Tibet for CCP stacking. Our results reveal two significantly thickened MTZ anomalies aligned nearly in the south-north direction. The magnitude of both anomalies are 30km above the global average of 250km. The southern anomaly located beneath the Dianzhong sub-block and the Indo-China block is characterized by a slightly deeper `410' and a greater-than-normal `660', while the northern anomaly beneath western Sichuan has an uplifted `410' and a depressed `660'. Combining with previous studies in the adjacent region, we suggest that slab break-off may occurred during the eastward subduction of the Burma plate, with the lower part of the cold slab penetrated into the MTZ and stagnated at the bottom of the `660' which may cause the southern anomaly in our receiver function images. The origin of the Tengchong volcano is probably connected to the upwelling of the asthenospheric material caused by the slab break-off or to the ascending of the hot and wet material triggered by the dehydration of stagnant slab in the MTZ. The anomaly in the north, on the other hand, might be

  15. Providing information and enabling transactions: which website function is more important for success?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, Janny C.; Huizingh, Eelko K.R.E.; Bijmolt, Tammo H.A.; Krawczyk, Adriana

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we propose and test a chain of effects from website content, through informational and transactional success to overall website success and company performance. This framework enables us to determine the relative importance of the informational and transaction-related website

  16. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-01-01

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation. PMID:24739808

  17. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  18. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J. A.

    2017-01-01

    and function is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures, however there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling...... processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study, and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic......Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure...

  19. Distribution dynamics and functional importance of NHERF1 in regulation of Mrp-2 trafficking in hepatocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karvar, Serhan; Suda, Jo; Zhu, Lixin; Rockey, Don C

    2014-10-15

    Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) is a multifunctional scaffolding protein that interacts with receptors and ion transporters in its PDZ domains and with the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family of proteins in its COOH terminus. The role of NHERF1 in hepatocyte function remains largely unknown. We examine the distribution and physiological significance of NHERF1 and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp-2) in hepatocytes. A WT radixin binding site mutant (F355R) and NHERF1 PDZ1 and PDZ2 domain adenoviral mutant constructs were tagged with yellow fluorescent protein and expressed in polarized hepatocytes to study localization and function of NHERF1. Cellular distribution of NHERF1 and radixin was visualized by fluorescence microscopy. A 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (CMFDA) assay was used to characterize Mrp-2 function. Similar to Mrp-2, WT NHERF1 and the NHERF1 PDZ2 deletion mutant were localized to the canalicular membrane. In contrast, the radixin binding site mutant (F355R) and the NHERF1 PDZ1 deletion mutant, which interacts poorly with Mrp-2, were rarely associated with the canalicular membrane. Knockdown of NHERF1 led to dramatically impaired CMFDA secretory response. Use of CMFDA showed that the NHERF1 PDZ1 and F355R mutants were devoid of a secretory response, while WT NHERF1-infected cells exhibited increased secretion of glutathione-methylfluorescein. The data indicate that NHERF1 interacts with Mrp-2 via the PDZ1 domain of NHERF1 and, furthermore, that NHERF1 is essential for maintaining the localization and function of Mrp-2. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  20. The importance of incorporating functional habitats into conservation planning for highly mobile species in dynamic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Matthew H; Terauds, Aleks; Tulloch, Ayesha; Bell, Phil; Stojanovic, Dejan; Heinsohn, Robert

    2017-10-01

    The distribution of mobile species in dynamic systems can vary greatly over time and space. Estimating their population size and geographic range can be problematic and affect the accuracy of conservation assessments. Scarce data on mobile species and the resources they need can also limit the type of analytical approaches available to derive such estimates. We quantified change in availability and use of key ecological resources required for breeding for a critically endangered nomadic habitat specialist, the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor). We compared estimates of occupied habitat derived from dynamic presence-background (i.e., presence-only data) climatic models with estimates derived from dynamic occupancy models that included a direct measure of food availability. We then compared estimates that incorporate fine-resolution spatial data on the availability of key ecological resources (i.e., functional habitats) with more common approaches that focus on broader climatic suitability or vegetation cover (due to the absence of fine-resolution data). The occupancy models produced significantly (P increase or decrease in the area of one functional habitat (foraging or nesting) did not necessarily correspond to an increase or decrease in the other. Thus, an increase in the extent of occupied area may not equate to improved habitat quality or function. We argue these patterns are typical for mobile resource specialists but often go unnoticed because of limited data over relevant spatial and temporal scales and lack of spatial data on the availability of key resources. Understanding changes in the relative availability of functional habitats is crucial to informing conservation planning and accurately assessing extinction risk for mobile resource specialists. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Hippocampal volumes are important predictors for memory function in elderly women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adolfsdottir Steinunn

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Normal aging involves a decline in cognitive function that has been shown to correlate with volumetric change in the hippocampus, and with genetic variability in the APOE-gene. In the present study we utilize 3D MR imaging, genetic analysis and assessment of verbal memory function to investigate relationships between these factors in a sample of 170 healthy volunteers (age range 46–77 years. Methods Brain morphometric analysis was performed with the automated segmentation work-flow implemented in FreeSurfer. Genetic analysis of the APOE genotype was determined with polymerase chain reaction (PCR on DNA from whole-blood. All individuals were subjected to extensive neuropsychological testing, including the California Verbal Learning Test-II (CVLT. To obtain robust and easily interpretable relationships between explanatory variables and verbal memory function we applied the recent method of conditional inference trees in addition to scatterplot matrices and simple pairwise linear least-squares regression analysis. Results APOE genotype had no significant impact on the CVLT results (scores on long delay free recall, CVLT-LD or the ICV-normalized hippocampal volumes. Hippocampal volumes were found to decrease with age and a right-larger-than-left hippocampal asymmetry was also found. These findings are in accordance with previous studies. CVLT-LD score was shown to correlate with hippocampal volume. Multivariate conditional inference analysis showed that gender and left hippocampal volume largely dominated predictive values for CVLT-LD scores in our sample. Left hippocampal volume dominated predictive values for females but not for males. APOE genotype did not alter the model significantly, and age was only partly influencing the results. Conclusion Gender and left hippocampal volumes are main predictors for verbal memory function in normal aging. APOE genotype did not affect the results in any part of our analysis.

  2. Importance of bicarbonate transport in pH control during amelogenesis - need for functional studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varga, G; DenBesten, P; Rácz, R; Zsembery, Á

    2017-08-18

    Dental enamel, the hardest mammalian tissue, is produced by ameloblasts. Ameloblasts show many similarities to other transporting epithelia although their secretory product, the enamel matrix, is quite different. Ameloblasts direct the formation of hydroxyapatite crystals, which liberate large quantities of protons that then need to be buffered to allow mineralization to proceed. Buffering requires a tight pH regulation and secretion of bicarbonate by ameloblasts. Many investigations have used immunohistochemical and knockout studies to determine the effects of these genes on enamel formation, but up till recently very little functional data were available for mineral ion transport. To address this, we developed a novel 2D in vitro model using HAT-7 ameloblast cells. HAT-7 cells can be polarized and develop functional tight junctions. Furthermore, they are able to accumulate bicarbonate ions from the basolateral to the apical fluid spaces. We propose that in the future, the HAT-7 2D system along with similar cellular models will be useful to functionally model ion transport processes during amelogenesis. Additionally, we also suggest that similar approaches will allow a better understanding of the regulation of the cycling process in maturation-stage ameloblasts, and the pH sensory mechanisms, which are required to develop sound, healthy enamel. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Evolution of the snake body form reveals homoplasy in amniote Hox gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Jason J; Polly, P David

    2015-04-02

    Hox genes regulate regionalization of the axial skeleton in vertebrates, and changes in their expression have been proposed to be a fundamental mechanism driving the evolution of new body forms. The origin of the snake-like body form, with its deregionalized pre-cloacal axial skeleton, has been explained as either homogenization of Hox gene expression domains, or retention of standard vertebrate Hox domains with alteration of downstream expression that suppresses development of distinct regions. Both models assume a highly regionalized ancestor, but the extent of deregionalization of the primaxial domain (vertebrae, dorsal ribs) of the skeleton in snake-like body forms has never been analysed. Here we combine geometric morphometrics and maximum-likelihood analysis to show that the pre-cloacal primaxial domain of elongate, limb-reduced lizards and snakes is not deregionalized compared with limbed taxa, and that the phylogenetic structure of primaxial morphology in reptiles does not support a loss of regionalization in the evolution of snakes. We demonstrate that morphometric regional boundaries correspond to mapped gene expression domains in snakes, suggesting that their primaxial domain is patterned by a normally functional Hox code. Comparison of primaxial osteology in fossil and modern amniotes with Hox gene distributions within Amniota indicates that a functional, sequentially expressed Hox code patterned a subtle morphological gradient along the anterior-posterior axis in stem members of amniote clades and extant lizards, including snakes. The highly regionalized skeletons of extant archosaurs and mammals result from independent evolution in the Hox code and do not represent ancestral conditions for clades with snake-like body forms. The developmental origin of snakes is best explained by decoupling of the primaxial and abaxial domains and by increases in somite number, not by changes in the function of primaxial Hox genes.

  4. Evidence of functional connectivity between auditory cortical areas revealed by amplitude modulation sound processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guéguin, Marie; Le Bouquin-Jeannès, Régine; Faucon, Gérard; Chauvel, Patrick; Liégeois-Chauvel, Catherine

    2007-02-01

    The human auditory cortex includes several interconnected areas. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in auditory cortical functions requires a detailed knowledge of neuronal connectivity between functional cortical regions. In human, it is difficult to track in vivo neuronal connectivity. We investigated the interarea connection in vivo in the auditory cortex using a method of directed coherence (DCOH) applied to depth auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). This paper presents simultaneous AEPs recordings from insular gyrus (IG), primary and secondary cortices (Heschl's gyrus and planum temporale), and associative areas (Brodmann area [BA] 22) with multilead intracerebral electrodes in response to sinusoidal modulated white noises in 4 epileptic patients who underwent invasive monitoring with depth electrodes for epilepsy surgery. DCOH allowed estimation of the causality between 2 signals recorded from different cortical sites. The results showed 1) a predominant auditory stream within the primary auditory cortex from the most medial region to the most lateral one whatever the modulation frequency, 2) unidirectional functional connection from the primary to secondary auditory cortex, 3) a major auditory propagation from the posterior areas to the anterior ones, particularly at 8, 16, and 32 Hz, and 4) a particular role of Heschl's sulcus dispatching information to the different auditory areas. These findings suggest that cortical processing of auditory information is performed in serial and parallel streams. Our data showed that the auditory propagation could not be associated to a unidirectional traveling wave but to a constant interaction between these areas that could reflect the large adaptive and plastic capacities of auditory cortex. The role of the IG is discussed.

  5. A novel flow cytometric HTS assay reveals functional modulators of ATP binding cassette transporter ABCB6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polireddy, Kishore; Khan, Mohiuddin Md Taimur; Chavan, Hemantkumar; Young, Susan; Ma, Xiaochao; Waller, Anna; Garcia, Matthew; Perez, Dominique; Chavez, Stephanie; Strouse, Jacob J; Haynes, Mark K; Bologa, Cristian G; Oprea, Tudor I; Tegos, George P; Sklar, Larry A; Krishnamurthy, Partha

    2012-01-01

    ABCB6 is a member of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette family of transporter proteins that is increasingly recognized as a relevant physiological and therapeutic target. Evaluation of modulators of ABCB6 activity would pave the way toward a more complete understanding of the significance of this transport process in tumor cell growth, proliferation and therapy-related drug resistance. In addition, this effort would improve our understanding of the function of ABCB6 in normal physiology with respect to heme biosynthesis, and cellular adaptation to metabolic demand and stress responses. To search for modulators of ABCB6, we developed a novel cell-based approach that, in combination with flow cytometric high-throughput screening (HTS), can be used to identify functional modulators of ABCB6. Accumulation of protoporphyrin, a fluorescent molecule, in wild-type ABCB6 expressing K562 cells, forms the basis of the HTS assay. Screening the Prestwick Chemical Library employing the HTS assay identified four compounds, benzethonium chloride, verteporfin, tomatine hydrochloride and piperlongumine, that reduced ABCB6 mediated cellular porphyrin levels. Validation of the identified compounds employing the hemin-agarose affinity chromatography and mitochondrial transport assays demonstrated that three out of the four compounds were capable of inhibiting ABCB6 mediated hemin transport into isolated mitochondria. However, only verteporfin and tomatine hydrochloride inhibited ABCB6's ability to compete with hemin as an ABCB6 substrate. This assay is therefore sensitive, robust, and suitable for automation in a high-throughput environment as demonstrated by our identification of selective functional modulators of ABCB6. Application of this assay to other libraries of synthetic compounds and natural products is expected to identify novel modulators of ABCB6 activity.

  6. A novel flow cytometric HTS assay reveals functional modulators of ATP binding cassette transporter ABCB6.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishore Polireddy

    Full Text Available ABCB6 is a member of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP-binding cassette family of transporter proteins that is increasingly recognized as a relevant physiological and therapeutic target. Evaluation of modulators of ABCB6 activity would pave the way toward a more complete understanding of the significance of this transport process in tumor cell growth, proliferation and therapy-related drug resistance. In addition, this effort would improve our understanding of the function of ABCB6 in normal physiology with respect to heme biosynthesis, and cellular adaptation to metabolic demand and stress responses. To search for modulators of ABCB6, we developed a novel cell-based approach that, in combination with flow cytometric high-throughput screening (HTS, can be used to identify functional modulators of ABCB6. Accumulation of protoporphyrin, a fluorescent molecule, in wild-type ABCB6 expressing K562 cells, forms the basis of the HTS assay. Screening the Prestwick Chemical Library employing the HTS assay identified four compounds, benzethonium chloride, verteporfin, tomatine hydrochloride and piperlongumine, that reduced ABCB6 mediated cellular porphyrin levels. Validation of the identified compounds employing the hemin-agarose affinity chromatography and mitochondrial transport assays demonstrated that three out of the four compounds were capable of inhibiting ABCB6 mediated hemin transport into isolated mitochondria. However, only verteporfin and tomatine hydrochloride inhibited ABCB6's ability to compete with hemin as an ABCB6 substrate. This assay is therefore sensitive, robust, and suitable for automation in a high-throughput environment as demonstrated by our identification of selective functional modulators of ABCB6. Application of this assay to other libraries of synthetic compounds and natural products is expected to identify novel modulators of ABCB6 activity.

  7. Abnormal regional homogeneity in patients with essential tremor revealed by resting-state functional MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weidong Fang

    Full Text Available Essential tremor (ET is one of the most common movement disorders in human adults. It can be characterized as a progressive neurological disorder of which the most recognizable feature is a tremor of the arms or hands that is apparent during voluntary movements such as eating and writing. The pathology of ET remains unclear. Resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI, as a non-invasive imaging technique, was employed to investigate abnormalities of functional connectivity in ET in the brain. Regional homogeneity (ReHo was used as a metric of RS-fMRI to assess the local functional connectivity abnormality in ET with 20 ET patients and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC. The ET group showed decreased ReHo in the anterior and posterior bilateral cerebellar lobes, the bilateral thalamus and the insular lobe, and increased ReHo in the bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, the left primary motor cortex and left supplementary motor area. The abnormal ReHo value of ET patients in the bilateral anterior cerebellar lobes and the right posterior cerebellar lobe were negatively correlated with the tremor severity score, while positively correlated with that in the left primary motor cortex. These findings suggest that the abnormality in cerebello-thalamo-cortical motor pathway is involved in tremor generation and propagation, which may be related to motor-related symptoms in ET patients. Meanwhile, the abnormality in the prefrontal and parietal regions may be associated with non-motor symptoms in ET. These findings suggest that the ReHo could be utilized for investigations of functional-pathological mechanism of ET.

  8. Revealing molecular mechanisms by integrating high-dimensional functional screens with protein interaction data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Simeone

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Functional genomics screens using multi-parametric assays are powerful approaches for identifying genes involved in particular cellular processes. However, they suffer from problems like noise, and often provide little insight into molecular mechanisms. A bottleneck for addressing these issues is the lack of computational methods for the systematic integration of multi-parametric phenotypic datasets with molecular interactions. Here, we present Integrative Multi Profile Analysis of Cellular Traits (IMPACT. The main goal of IMPACT is to identify the most consistent phenotypic profile among interacting genes. This approach utilizes two types of external information: sets of related genes (IMPACT-sets and network information (IMPACT-modules. Based on the notion that interacting genes are more likely to be involved in similar functions than non-interacting genes, this data is used as a prior to inform the filtering of phenotypic profiles that are similar among interacting genes. IMPACT-sets selects the most frequent profile among a set of related genes. IMPACT-modules identifies sub-networks containing genes with similar phenotype profiles. The statistical significance of these selections is subsequently quantified via permutations of the data. IMPACT (1 handles multiple profiles per gene, (2 rescues genes with weak phenotypes and (3 accounts for multiple biases e.g. caused by the network topology. Application to a genome-wide RNAi screen on endocytosis showed that IMPACT improved the recovery of known endocytosis-related genes, decreased off-target effects, and detected consistent phenotypes. Those findings were confirmed by rescreening 468 genes. Additionally we validated an unexpected influence of the IGF-receptor on EGF-endocytosis. IMPACT facilitates the selection of high-quality phenotypic profiles using different types of independent information, thereby supporting the molecular interpretation of functional screens.

  9. Presbycusis Disrupts Spontaneous Activity Revealed by Resting-State Functional MRI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Chen Chen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Presbycusis, age-related hearing loss, is believed to involve neural changes in the central nervous system, which is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The goal of this study was to determine if presbycusis disrupted spontaneous neural activity in specific brain areas involved in auditory processing, attention and cognitive function using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI approach.Methods: Hearing and resting-state fMRI measurements were obtained from 22 presbycusis patients and 23 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls. To identify changes in spontaneous neural activity associated with age-related hearing loss, we compared the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF and regional homogeneity (ReHo of fMRI signals in presbycusis patients vs. controls and then determined if these changes were linked to clinical measures of presbycusis.Results: Compared with healthy controls, presbycusis patients manifested decreased spontaneous activity mainly in the superior temporal gyrus (STG, parahippocampal gyrus (PHG, precuneus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL as well as increased neural activity in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG, cuneus and postcentral gyrus (PoCG. A significant negative correlation was observed between ALFF/ReHo activity in the STG and average hearing thresholds in presbycusis patients. Increased ALFF/ReHo activity in the MFG was positively correlated with impaired Trail-Making Test B (TMT-B scores, indicative of impaired cognitive function involving the frontal lobe.Conclusions: Presbycusis patients have disrupted spontaneous neural activity reflected by ALFF and ReHo measurements in several brain regions; these changes are associated with specific cognitive performance and speech/language processing. These findings mainly emphasize the crucial role of aberrant resting-state ALFF/ReHo patterns in presbycusis patients and will lead to a better understanding of the

  10. Presbycusis Disrupts Spontaneous Activity Revealed by Resting-State Functional MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Chen, Huiyou; Jiang, Liang; Bo, Fan; Xu, Jin-Jing; Mao, Cun-Nan; Salvi, Richard; Yin, Xindao; Lu, Guangming; Gu, Jian-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Purpose : Presbycusis, age-related hearing loss, is believed to involve neural changes in the central nervous system, which is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The goal of this study was to determine if presbycusis disrupted spontaneous neural activity in specific brain areas involved in auditory processing, attention and cognitive function using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach. Methods : Hearing and resting-state fMRI measurements were obtained from 22 presbycusis patients and 23 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls. To identify changes in spontaneous neural activity associated with age-related hearing loss, we compared the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) of fMRI signals in presbycusis patients vs. controls and then determined if these changes were linked to clinical measures of presbycusis. Results : Compared with healthy controls, presbycusis patients manifested decreased spontaneous activity mainly in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), parahippocampal gyrus (PHG), precuneus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) as well as increased neural activity in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), cuneus and postcentral gyrus (PoCG). A significant negative correlation was observed between ALFF/ReHo activity in the STG and average hearing thresholds in presbycusis patients. Increased ALFF/ReHo activity in the MFG was positively correlated with impaired Trail-Making Test B (TMT-B) scores, indicative of impaired cognitive function involving the frontal lobe. Conclusions : Presbycusis patients have disrupted spontaneous neural activity reflected by ALFF and ReHo measurements in several brain regions; these changes are associated with specific cognitive performance and speech/language processing. These findings mainly emphasize the crucial role of aberrant resting-state ALFF/ReHo patterns in presbycusis patients and will lead to a better understanding of the

  11. Targeted Gene-Silencing Reveals the Functional Significance of Myocardin Signaling in the Failing Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrado, Mario; Iglesias, Raquel; Centeno, Alberto; López, Eduardo; Mikhailov, Alexander T.

    2011-01-01

    Background Myocardin (MYOCD), a potent transcriptional coactivator of smooth muscle (SM) and cardiac genes, is upregulated in failing myocardium in animal models and human end-stage heart failure (HF). However, the molecular and functional consequences of myocd upregulation in HF are still unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings The goal of the present study was to investigate if targeted inhibition of upregulated expression of myocd could influence failing heart gene expression and function. To this end, we used the doxorubicin (Dox)-induced diastolic HF (DHF) model in neonatal piglets, in which, as we show, not only myocd but also myocd-dependent SM-marker genes are highly activated in failing left ventricular (LV) myocardium. In this model, intra-myocardial delivery of short-hairpin RNAs, designed to target myocd variants expressed in porcine heart, leads on day 2 post-delivery to: (1) a decrease in the activated expression of myocd and myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing myocardium to levels seen in healthy control animals, (2) amelioration of impaired diastolic dysfunction, and (3) higher survival rates of DHF piglets. The posterior restoration of elevated myocd expression (on day 7 post-delivery) led to overexpression of myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing LV-myocardium that was associated with a return to altered diastolic function. Conclusions/Significance These data provide the first evidence that a moderate inhibition (e.g., normalization) of the activated MYOCD signaling in the diseased heart may be promising from a therapeutic point of view. PMID:22028870

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Torrado

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

  13. A new therapeutic effect of simvastatin revealed by functional improvement in muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Nicholas P; Kim, Min Jeong; Bible, Kenneth L; Adams, Marvin E; Froehner, Stanley C

    2015-10-13

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disease with no effective treatment. DMD muscle pathogenesis is characterized by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibit these deleterious processes in ischemic diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and therefore have potential to improve DMD. However, statins have not been considered for DMD, or other muscular dystrophies, principally because skeletal-muscle-related symptoms are rare, but widely publicized, side effects of these drugs. Here we show positive effects of statins in dystrophic skeletal muscle. Simvastatin dramatically reduced damage and enhanced muscle function in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Long-term simvastatin treatment vastly improved overall muscle health in mdx mice, reducing plasma creatine kinase activity, an established measure of muscle damage, to near-normal levels. This reduction was accompanied by reduced inflammation, more oxidative muscle fibers, and improved strength of the weak diaphragm muscle. Shorter-term treatment protected against muscle fatigue and increased mdx hindlimb muscle force by 40%, a value comparable to current dystrophin gene-based therapies. Increased force correlated with reduced NADPH Oxidase 2 protein expression, the major source of oxidative stress in dystrophic muscle. Finally, in old mdx mice with severe muscle degeneration, simvastatin enhanced diaphragm force and halved fibrosis, a major cause of functional decline in DMD. These improvements were accompanied by autophagy activation, a recent therapeutic target for DMD, and less oxidative stress. Together, our findings highlight that simvastatin substantially improves the overall health and function of dystrophic skeletal muscles and may provide an unexpected, novel therapy for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases.

  14. Computer Simulations Reveal Multiple Functions for Aromatic Residues in Cellulase Enzymes (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2012-07-01

    NREL researchers use high-performance computing to demonstrate fundamental roles of aromatic residues in cellulase enzyme tunnels. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) computer simulations of a key industrial enzyme, the Trichoderma reesei Family 6 cellulase (Cel6A), predict that aromatic residues near the enzyme's active site and at the entrance and exit tunnel perform different functions in substrate binding and catalysis, depending on their location in the enzyme. These results suggest that nature employs aromatic-carbohydrate interactions with a wide variety of binding affinities for diverse functions. Outcomes also suggest that protein engineering strategies in which mutations are made around the binding sites may require tailoring specific to the enzyme family. Cellulase enzymes ubiquitously exhibit tunnels or clefts lined with aromatic residues for processing carbohydrate polymers to monomers, but the molecular-level role of these aromatic residues remains unknown. In silico mutation of the aromatic residues near the catalytic site of Cel6A has little impact on the binding affinity, but simulation suggests that these residues play a major role in the glucopyranose ring distortion necessary for cleaving glycosidic bonds to produce fermentable sugars. Removal of aromatic residues at the entrance and exit of the cellulase tunnel, however, dramatically impacts the binding affinity. This suggests that these residues play a role in acquiring cellulose chains from the cellulose crystal and stabilizing the reaction product, respectively. These results illustrate that the role of aromatic-carbohydrate interactions varies dramatically depending on the position in the enzyme tunnel. As aromatic-carbohydrate interactions are present in all carbohydrate-active enzymes, the results have implications for understanding protein structure-function relationships in carbohydrate metabolism and recognition, carbon turnover in nature, and protein engineering

  15. 3D topology of orientation columns in visual cortex revealed by functional optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamichi, Yu; Kalatsky, Valery A; Watanabe, Hideyuki; Sato, Takayuki; Rajagopalan, Uma Maheswari; Tanifuji, Manabu

    2018-04-01

    Orientation tuning is a canonical neuronal response property of six-layer visual cortex that is encoded in pinwheel structures with center orientation singularities. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals enables us to map these surface two-dimensional (2D) structures, whereas lack of appropriate techniques has not allowed us to visualize depth structures of orientation coding. In the present study, we performed functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT), a technique capable of acquiring a 3D map of the intrinsic signals, to study the topology of orientation coding inside the cat visual cortex. With this technique, for the first time, we visualized columnar assemblies in orientation coding that had been predicted from electrophysiological recordings. In addition, we found that the columnar structures were largely distorted around pinwheel centers: center singularities were not rigid straight lines running perpendicularly to the cortical surface but formed twisted string-like structures inside the cortex that turned and extended horizontally through the cortex. Looping singularities were observed with their respective termini accessing the same cortical surface via clockwise and counterclockwise orientation pinwheels. These results suggest that a 3D topology of orientation coding cannot be fully anticipated from 2D surface measurements. Moreover, the findings demonstrate the utility of fOCT as an in vivo mesoscale imaging method for mapping functional response properties of cortex in the depth axis. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We used functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT) to visualize three-dimensional structure of the orientation columns with millimeter range and micrometer spatial resolution. We validated vertically elongated columnar structure in iso-orientation domains. The columnar structure was distorted around pinwheel centers. An orientation singularity formed a string with tortuous trajectories inside the cortex and connected clockwise and counterclockwise

  16. Scientific and methodic approaches to reveal stability essence at the industrial enterprises and its functional components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyulyov Oleksii Valentynovych

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with theoretical analysis of the scientific approaches concerning definition of the concept “stability”, which exist in the scientific literature. There are five different approaches to interpret the concept “enterprise stability”, as an open economic system. On this base, the author’s definition of the enterprise stability is formed. Due to the carried out analysis of the main tendencies in changes of the industry development factors for 2006-2015 and future expectations, the main functional constituents of the enterprise stability. The author suggests to use an approach of self-organizational artificial neural networks to evaluate stability degree at the industrial enterprises.

  17. Lipid profiling and transcriptomic analysis reveals a functional interplay between estradiol and growth hormone in liver.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Fernández-Pérez

    Full Text Available 17β-estradiol (E2 may interfere with endocrine, metabolic, and gender-differentiated functions in liver in both females and males. Indirect mechanisms play a crucial role because of the E2 influence on the pituitary GH secretion and the GHR-JAK2-STAT5 signaling pathway in the target tissues. E2, through its interaction with the estrogen receptor, exerts direct effects on liver. Hypothyroidism also affects endocrine and metabolic functions of the liver, rendering a metabolic phenotype with features that mimic deficiencies in E2 or GH. In this work, we combined the lipid and transcriptomic analysis to obtain comprehensive information on the molecular mechanisms of E2 effects, alone and in combination with GH, to regulate liver functions in males. We used the adult hypothyroid-orchidectomized rat model to minimize the influence of internal hormones on E2 treatment and to explore its role in male-differentiated functions. E2 influenced genes involved in metabolism of lipids and endo-xenobiotics, and the GH-regulated endocrine, metabolic, immune, and male-specific responses. E2 induced a female-pattern of gene expression and inhibited GH-regulated STAT5b targeted genes. E2 did not prevent the inhibitory effects of GH on urea and amino acid metabolism-related genes. The combination of E2 and GH decreased transcriptional immune responses. E2 decreased the hepatic content of saturated fatty acids and induced a transcriptional program that seems to be mediated by the activation of PPARα. In contrast, GH inhibited fatty acid oxidation. Both E2 and GH replacements reduced hepatic CHO levels and increased the formation of cholesterol esters and triacylglycerols. Notably, the hepatic lipid profiles were endowed with singular fingerprints that may be used to segregate the effects of different hormonal replacements. In summary, we provide in vivo evidence that E2 has a significant impact on lipid content and transcriptome in male liver and that E2 exerts a

  18. A Broad RNA Virus Survey Reveals Both miRNA Dependence and Functional Sequestration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheel, Troels K H; Luna, Joseph M; Liniger, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    , critically depended on the interaction of cellular miR-17 and let-7 with the viral 3' UTR. Unlike canonical miRNA interactions, miR-17 and let-7 binding enhanced pestivirus translation and RNA stability. miR-17 sequestration by pestiviruses conferred reduced AGO binding and functional de...... immunoprecipitation (CLIP) of the Argonaute (AGO) proteins to characterize strengths and specificities of miRNA interactions in the context of 15 different RNA virus infections, including several clinically relevant pathogens. Notably, replication of pestiviruses, a major threat to milk and meat industries...

  19. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Rats with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Reveals Brain Cortex Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambalo, Stefano; Peruzzotti-Jametti, Luca; Rigolio, Roberta; Fiorini, Silvia; Bontempi, Pietro; Mallucci, Giulia; Balzarotti, Beatrice; Marmiroli, Paola; Sbarbati, Andrea; Cavaletti, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Cortical reorganization occurring in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is thought to play a key role in limiting the effect of structural tissue damage. Conversely, its exhaustion may contribute to the irreversible disability that accumulates with disease progression. Several aspects of MS-related cortical reorganization, including the overall functional effect and likely modulation by therapies, still remain to be elucidated. The aim of this work was to assess the extent of functional cortical reorganization and its brain structural/pathological correlates in Dark Agouti rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a widely accepted preclinical model of chronic MS. Morphological and functional MRI (fMRI) were performed before disease induction and during the relapsing and chronic phases of EAE. During somatosensory stimulation of the right forepaw, fMRI demonstrated that cortical reorganization occurs in both relapsing and chronic phases of EAE with increased activated volume and decreased laterality index versus baseline values. Voxel-based morphometry demonstrated gray matter (GM) atrophy in the cerebral cortex, and both GM and white matter atrophy were assessed by ex vivo pathology of the sensorimotor cortex and corpus callosum. Neuroinflammation persisted in the relapsing and chronic phases, with dendritic spine density in the layer IV sensory neurons inversely correlating with the number of cluster of differentiation 45-positive inflammatory lesions. Our work provides an innovative experimental platform that may be pivotal for the comprehension of key mechanisms responsible for the accumulation of irreversible brain damage and for the development of innovative therapies to reduce disability in EAE/MS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Since the early 2000s, functional MRI (fMRI) has demonstrated profound modifications in the recruitment of cortical areas during motor, cognitive, and sensory tasks in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Experimental autoimmune

  20. Muscle biopsies from human muscle diseases with myopathic pathology reveal common alterations in mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunitha, Balaraju; Gayathri, Narayanappa; Kumar, Manish; Keshava Prasad, Thottethodi Subrahmanya; Nalini, Atchayaram; Padmanabhan, Balasundaram; Srinivas Bharath, Muchukunte Mukunda

    2016-07-01

    Muscle diseases are clinically and genetically heterogeneous and manifest as dystrophic, inflammatory and myopathic pathologies, among others. Our previous study on the cardiotoxin mouse model of myodegeneration and inflammation linked muscle pathology with mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated whether human muscle diseases display mitochondrial changes. Muscle biopsies from muscle disease patients, represented by dysferlinopathy (dysfy) (dystrophic pathology; n = 43), polymyositis (PM) (inflammatory pathology; n = 24), and distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles (DMRV) (distal myopathy; n = 31) were analyzed. Mitochondrial damage (ragged blue and COX-deficient fibers) was revealed in dysfy, PM, and DMRV cases by enzyme histochemistry (SDH and COX-SDH), electron microscopy (vacuolation and altered cristae) and biochemical assays (significantly increased ADP/ATP ratio). Proteomic analysis of muscle mitochondria from all three muscle diseases by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation labeling and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis demonstrated down-regulation of electron transport chain (ETC) complex subunits, assembly factors and Krebs cycle enzymes. Interestingly, 80 of the under-expressed proteins were common among the three pathologies. Assay of ETC and Krebs cycle enzyme activities validated the MS data. Mitochondrial proteins from muscle pathologies also displayed higher tryptophan (Trp) oxidation and the same was corroborated in the cardiotoxin model. Molecular modeling predicted Trp oxidation to alter the local structure of mitochondrial proteins. Our data highlight mitochondrial alterations in muscle pathologies, represented by morphological changes, altered mitochondrial proteome and protein oxidation, thereby establishing the role of mitochondrial damage in human muscle diseases. We investigated whether human muscle diseases display mitochondrial changes. Muscle biopsies

  1. Developmental Reorganization of the Core and Extended Face Networks Revealed by Global Functional Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xu; Zhu, Qi; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia

    2017-08-28

    Prior studies on development of functional specialization in human brain mainly focus on age-related increases in regional activation and connectivity among regions. However, a few recent studies on the face network demonstrate age-related decrease in face-specialized activation in the extended face network (EFN), in addition to increase in activation in the core face network (CFN). Here we used a voxel-based global brain connectivity approach to investigate whether development of the face network exhibited both increase and decrease in network connectivity. We found the voxel-wise resting-state functional connectivity (FC) within the CFN increased with age in bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus, suggesting the integration of the CFN during development. Interestingly, the FC of the voxels in the EFN to the right fusiform face area and occipital face area decreased with age, suggesting that the CFN segregated from the EFN during development. Moreover, the age-related connectivity in the CFN was related to behavioral performance in face processing. Overall, our study demonstrated developmental reorganization of the face network achieved by both integration within the CFN and segregation of the CFN from the EFN, which may account for the simultaneous increases and decreases in neural activation during the development of the face network. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Genetic analysis of yeast RPA1 reveals its multiple functions in DNA metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umezu, K.; Sugawara, N.; Chen, C.; Haber, J.E.; Kolodner, R.D.

    1998-01-01

    Replication protein A (RPA) is a single-stranded DNA-binding protein identified as an essential factor for SV40 DNA replication in vitro. To understand the in vivo functions of RPA, we mutagenized the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RFA1 gene and identified 19 ultraviolet light (UV) irradiation- and methyl methane sulfonate (MMS)-sensitive mutants and 5 temperature-sensitive mutants. The UV- and MMS-sensitive mutants showed up to 10 4 to 10 5 times increased sensitivity to these agents. Some of the UV- and MMSsensitive mutants were killed by an HO-induced double-strand break atMAT. Physical analysis of recombination in one UV- and MMS-sensitive rfa1 mutant demonstrated that it was defective for mating type switching and single-strand annealing recombination. Two temperature-sensitive mutants were characterized in detail, and at the restrictive temperature were found to have an arrest phenotype and DNA content indicative of incomplete DNA replication. DNA sequence analysis indicated that most of the mutations altered amino acids that were conserved between yeast, human, and Xenopus RPA1. Taken together, we conclude that RPA1 has multiple roles in vivo and functions in DNA replication, repair, and recombination, like the single-stranded DNA-binding proteins of bacteria and phages. (author)

  3. Speech processing asymmetry revealed by dichotic listening and functional brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugdahl, Kenneth; Westerhausen, René

    2016-12-01

    In this article, we review research in our laboratory from the last 25 to 30 years on the neuronal basis for laterality of speech perception focusing on the upper, posterior parts of the temporal lobes, and its functional and structural connections to other brain regions. We review both behavioral and brain imaging data, with a focus on dichotic listening experiments, and using a variety of imaging modalities. The data have come in most parts from healthy individuals and from studies on normally functioning brain, although we also review a few selected clinical examples. We first review and discuss the structural model for the explanation of the right-ear advantage (REA) and left hemisphere asymmetry for auditory language processing. A common theme across many studies have been our interest in the interaction between bottom-up, stimulus-driven, and top-down, instruction-driven, aspects of hemispheric asymmetry, and how perceptual factors interact with cognitive factors to shape asymmetry of auditory language information processing. In summary, our research have shown laterality for the initial processing of consonant-vowel syllables, first observed as a behavioral REA when subjects are required to report which syllable of a dichotic syllable-pair they perceive. In subsequent work we have corroborated the REA with brain imaging, and have shown that the REA is modulated through both bottom-up manipulations of stimulus properties, like sound intensity, and top-down manipulations of cognitive properties, like attention focus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Structural and functional properties of hemoglobins from unicellular organisms as revealed by resonance Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egawa, Tsuyoshi; Yeh, Syun-Ru

    2005-01-01

    Hemoglobins have been discovered in organisms from virtually all kingdoms. Their presence in unicellular organisms suggests that the gene for hemoglobin is very ancient and that the hemoglobins must have functions other than oxygen transport, in view of the fact that O2 delivery is a diffusion-controlled process in these organisms. Based on sequence alignment, three groups of hemoglobins have been characterized in unicellular organisms. The group-one hemoglobins, termed truncated hemoglobins, consist of proteins with 110-140 amino acid residues and a novel two-over-two alpha-helical sandwich motif. The group-two hemoglobins, termed flavohemoglobins, consist of a hemoglobin domain, with a classical three-over-three alpha-helical sandwich motif, and a flavin-containing reductase domain that is covalently attached to it. The group-three hemoglobins consist of myoglobin-like proteins that have high sequence homology and structural similarity to the hemoglobin domain of flavohemoglobins. In this review, recent resonance Raman studies of each group of these proteins are presented. Their implications are discussed in the context of the structural and functional properties of these novel hemoglobins.

  5. Unexpected functional similarities between gatekeeper tumour suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes revealed by systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yongzhong; Epstein, Richard J

    2011-05-01

    Familial tumor suppressor genes comprise two subgroups: caretaker genes (CTs) that repair DNA, and gatekeeper genes (GKs) that trigger cell death. Since GKs may also induce cell cycle delay and thus enhance cell survival by facilitating DNA repair, we hypothesized that the prosurvival phenotype of GKs could be selected during cancer progression, and we used a multivariable systems biology approach to test this. We performed multidimensional data analysis, non-negative matrix factorization and logistic regression to compare the features of GKs with those of their putative antagonists, the proto-oncogenes (POs), as well as with control groups of CTs and functionally unrelated congenital heart disease genes (HDs). GKs and POs closely resemble each other, but not CTs or HDs, in terms of gene structure (Pexpression level and breadth (Pimplied suggest a common functional attribute that is strongly negatively selected-that is, a shared phenotype that enhances cell survival. The counterintuitive finding of similar evolutionary pressures affecting GKs and POs raises an intriguing possibility: namely, that cancer microevolution is accelerated by an epistatic cascade in which upstream suppressor gene defects subvert the normal bifunctionality of wild-type GKs by constitutively shifting the phenotype away from apoptosis towards survival. If correct, this interpretation would explain the hitherto unexplained phenomenon of frequent wild-type GK (for example, p53) overexpression in tumors.

  6. The import and function of diatom and plant frataxins in the mitochondrion of Trypanosoma brucei

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Long, Shaojun; Vávrová, Zuzana; Lukeš, Julius

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 162, č. 1 (2008), s. 100-104 ISSN 0166-6851 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA500960705; GA MŠk LC07032; GA MŠk 2B06129; GA ČR GA204/06/1558 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : frataxin * mitochondrion * Trypanosoma * diatom * evolutionary conservativeness * import Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.951, year: 2008

  7. Importance sampling and histogrammic representations of reactivity functions and product distributions in Monte Carlo quasiclassical trajectory calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faist, M.B.; Muckerman, J.T.; Schubert, F.E.

    1978-01-01

    The application of importance sampling as a variance reduction technique in Monte Carlo quasiclassical trajectory calculations is discussed. Two measures are proposed which quantify the quality of the importance sampling used, and indicate whether further improvements may be obtained by some other choice of importance sampling function. A general procedure for constructing standardized histogrammic representations of differential functions which integrate to the appropriate integral value obtained from a trajectory calculation is presented. Two criteria for ''optimum'' binning of these histogrammic representations of differential functions are suggested. These are (1) that each bin makes an equal contribution to the integral value, and (2) each bin has the same relative error. Numerical examples illustrating these sampling and binning concepts are provided

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-18

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

  9. Structural Studies Reveal the Functional Modularity of the Scc2-Scc4 Cohesin Loader

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C.H. Chao

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The remarkable accuracy of eukaryotic cell division is partly maintained by the cohesin complex acting as a molecular glue to prevent premature sister chromatid separation. The loading of cohesin onto chromosomes is catalyzed by the Scc2-Scc4 loader complex. Here, we report the crystal structure of Scc4 bound to the N terminus of Scc2 and show that Scc4 is a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR superhelix. The Scc2 N terminus adopts an extended conformation and is entrapped by the core of the Scc4 superhelix. Electron microscopy (EM analysis reveals that the Scc2-Scc4 loader complex comprises three domains: a head, body, and hook. Deletion studies unambiguously assign the Scc2N-Scc4 as the globular head domain, whereas in vitro cohesin loading assays show that the central body and the hook domains are sufficient to catalyze cohesin loading onto circular DNA, but not chromatinized DNA in vivo, suggesting a possible role for Scc4 as a chromatin adaptor.

  10. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J A; Tamelander, Tobias; Törnroos, Anna; Bonaglia, Stefano; Bonsdorff, Erik; Brüchert, Volker; Gårdmark, Anna; Järnström, Marie; Kotta, Jonne; Lindegren, Martin; Nordström, Marie C; Norkko, Alf; Olsson, Jens; Weigel, Benjamin; Žydelis, Ramunas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Niiranen, Susa; Winder, Monika

    2017-06-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems, and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure and function are strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures; however, there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic-pelagic coupling processes (e.g., nutrient exchange and sedimentation of organic material) are to some extent quantifiable, but the magnitude and variability of biological processes are rarely assessed, preventing quantitative comparisons. Changing oxygen conditions will continue to have widespread effects on the processes that govern inorganic and organic matter exchange among habitats while climate change and nutrient load reductions may have large effects on organic matter sedimentation. Many biological processes (predation, bioturbation) are expected to be sensitive to anthropogenic drivers, but the outcomes for ecosystem function are largely unknown. We emphasize how improved empirical and experimental understanding of benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their variability are necessary to inform models that can quantify the feedbacks among processes and ecosystem responses to a changing world. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Evaluating functional diversity: Missing trait data and the importance of species abundance structure and data transformation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Májeková, M.; Paal, T.; Plowman, Nichola S.; Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, L.; Norberg, A.; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, T. R.; Luke, S. H.; Sam, Kateřina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y.; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 2 (2016), č. článku e0149270. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR(CZ) GP14-32024P; GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 156/2013/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : data incompleteness * functional diversity * species abundance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149270

  12. Importance of orthodontic movement in interdisciplinary treatment for restoring esthetics and functional occlusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Henrique Guimarães

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This article describes interdisciplinary treatment conducted in adult patients, 49-year-old, with periodontal problems, losses and dental inclination, occlusal trauma, localized bone loss, and necessity of rehabilitation with dental implants. Alignment and leveling of the teeth, the molars uprighting with cantilever, and space closure were performed the treatment was facilitated by periodic periodontal control. The resultant occlusion was stable throughout a 5-year retention period. In conclusion, interdisciplinary treatment combined with periodontics, orthodontics, implantodontist, and restorative dentistry was useful for improving the patient′s oral health, function, and esthetics.

  13. Computational Approaches Reveal New Insights into Regulation and Function of Non; coding RNAs and their Targets

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Tanvir

    2016-11-28

    Regulation and function of protein-coding genes are increasingly well-understood, but no comparable evidence exists for non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes, which appear to be more numerous than protein-coding genes. We developed a novel machine-learning model to distinguish promoters of long ncRNA (lncRNA) genes from those of protein-coding genes. This represents the first attempt to make this distinction based on properties of the associated gene promoters. From our analyses, several transcription factors (TFs), which are known to be regulated by lncRNAs, also emerged as potential global regulators of lncRNAs, suggesting that lncRNAs and TFs may participate in bidirectional feedback regulatory network. Our results also raise the possibility that, due to the historical dependence on protein-coding gene in defining the chromatin states of active promoters, an adjustment of these chromatin signature profiles to incorporate lncRNAs is warranted in the future. Secondly, we developed a novel method to infer functions for lncRNA and microRNA (miRNA) transcripts based on their transcriptional regulatory networks in 119 tissues and 177 primary cells of human. This method for the first time combines information of cell/tissueVspecific expression of a transcript and the TFs and transcription coVfactors (TcoFs) that control activation of that transcript. Transcripts were annotated using statistically enriched GO terms, pathways and diseases across cells/tissues and associated knowledgebase (FARNA) is developed. FARNA, having the most comprehensive function annotation of considered ncRNAs across the widest spectrum of cells/tissues, has a potential to contribute to our understanding of ncRNA roles and their regulatory mechanisms in human. Thirdly, we developed a novel machine-learning model to identify LD motif (a protein interaction motif) of paxillin, a ncRNA target that is involved in cell motility and cancer metastasis. Our recognition model identified new proteins not

  14. Crustal Structure and Deformation of the Sichuan-Yunnan Region Revealed by receiver Function Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, S.; Zheng, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Sichuan-Yunnan and its surrounding areas locates in the southeast side to the Tibetan Plateau, due to the intrusion of the Indian Plate under the Tibetan Plateau, materials escape from the Tibetan Plateau and flow southward to southeastward. Because of such tectonic environment, the Sichuan-Yunnan region is experiencing high tectonic movement, and is capable of highly diffused seismicity. Based on dynamic simulation and field survey investigations, tectonic and geological studies proposed a decoupling model in this region and lower crustal flow may inflate in the crust. However, this idea needs more evidences, especially anisotropic structures to support it, since the anisotropic structures are usually directly related to the movement of materials, or to the tectonic distributions. In the past several years, a number of works have been done on the anisotropic structures in the Tibetan Plateau and its surroundings. In usually, previous studies were mainly carried out by two kinds of methods. First, the shear wave splitting of SKS, which mainly reflects the accumulation effect of the anisotropy of the crust to the mantle; the other way is use surface wave to investigate the anisotropic features at different azimuths and depths. In the recent years, receiver function is used to determine the inclination and anisotropy of the subsurface structure, comparing with the other two methods, receiver functions can provide higher resolution and reliable anisotropic features in the crust. Following the method of Liu and Niu(2012), we collected teleseismic data from the Himalayan first term network, and picked out high quality data based on the waveform SNR ratio, as well as the azimuthal distributions. Comparing with previous work (e.g., Sun et al.,2012), our work can provide more receiver functions results with higher reliability. We find that the crust beneath the Sichuan-Yunnan region has a thickness of 30-60 km and Vp/Vs ratio of 1.70-1.80. The Moho depth from northwest to

  15. Different patterns of auditory cortex activation revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Formisano, E; Pepino, A; Bracale, M [Department of Electronic Engineering, Biomedical Unit, Universita di Napoli, Federic II, Italy, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Di Salle, F [Department of Biomorphological and Functional Sciences, Radiologucal Unit, Universita di Napoli, Federic II, Italy, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Lanfermann, H; Zanella, F E [Department of Neuroradiology, J.W. Goethe Universitat, Frankfurt/M. (Germany)

    1999-12-31

    In the last few years, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has been widely accepted as an effective tool for mapping brain activities in both the sensorimotor and the cognitive field. The present work aims to assess the possibility of using fMRI methods to study the cortical response to different acoustic stimuli. Furthermore, we refer to recent data collected at Frankfurt University on the cortical pattern of auditory hallucinations. Healthy subjects showed broad bilateral activation, mostly located in the transverse gyrus of Heschl. The analysis of the cortical activation induced by different stimuli has pointed out a remarkable difference in the spatial and temporal features of the auditory cortex response to pulsed tones and pure tones. The activated areas during episodes of auditory hallucinations match the location of primary auditory cortex as defined in control measurements with the same patients and in the experiments on healthy subjects. (authors) 17 refs., 4 figs.

  16. Revealing the Supramolecular Nature of Side-Chain Terpyridine-Functionalized Polymer Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Brassinne

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, finely controlling the mechanical properties of polymeric materials is possible by incorporating supramolecular motifs into their architecture. In this context, the synthesis of a side-chain terpyridine-functionalized poly(2-(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate is reported via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. By addition of transition metal ions, concentrated aqueous solutions of this polymer turn into metallo-supramolecular hydrogels whose dynamic mechanical properties are investigated by rotational rheometry. Hence, the possibility for the material to relax mechanical constrains via dissociation of transient cross-links is brought into light. In addition, the complex phenomena occurring under large oscillatory shear are interpreted in the context of transient networks.

  17. Functional MRI reveals expert-novice differences during sport-related anticipation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Michael J; Bishop, Daniel T; Jackson, Robin C; Abernethy, Bruce

    2010-01-27

    We examined the effect of expertise on cortical activation during sports anticipation using functional MRI. In experiment 1, recreational players predicted badminton stroke direction and the pattern of active clusters was consistent with a proposed perception-of-action network. This pattern was not replicated in a stimulus-matched, action-unrelated control task. In experiment 2, players of three different skill levels anticipated stroke direction from clips occluded either 160 ms before or 80 ms after racquet-shuttle contact. Early-occluded sequences produced more activation than late-occluded sequences overall, in most cortical regions of interest, but experts showed an additional enhancement in medial, dorsolateral and ventrolateral frontal cortex. Anticipation in open-skill sports engages cortical areas integral to observing and understanding others' actions; such activity is enhanced in experts.

  18. Different patterns of auditory cortex activation revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Formisano, E.; Pepino, A.; Bracale, M.; Di Salle, F.; Lanfermann, H.; Zanella, F.E.

    1998-01-01

    In the last few years, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has been widely accepted as an effective tool for mapping brain activities in both the sensorimotor and the cognitive field. The present work aims to assess the possibility of using fMRI methods to study the cortical response to different acoustic stimuli. Furthermore, we refer to recent data collected at Frankfurt University on the cortical pattern of auditory hallucinations. Healthy subjects showed broad bilateral activation, mostly located in the transverse gyrus of Heschl. The analysis of the cortical activation induced by different stimuli has pointed out a remarkable difference in the spatial and temporal features of the auditory cortex response to pulsed tones and pure tones. The activated areas during episodes of auditory hallucinations match the location of primary auditory cortex as defined in control measurements with the same patients and in the experiments on healthy subjects. (authors)

  19. TECHNOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF LACTIC ACID BACTERIA: THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE MICROORGANISMS FOR FOOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda de Souza Motta

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Eacters of coccus or rods Gram-positive, catalase negative, non-sporulating, which produce lactic acid as the major end product during the fermentation of carbohydrates. When applied on food, provides beneficial effects to consumers through its functional and technological properties. With this the present review article, explore the potential application of lactic acid bacteria in food. The following genera are considered the principal lactic acid bacteria: Aerococcus, Carnobacterium, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Oenococcus, Pediococcus, Streptococcus, Tetragenococcus, Vagococcus and Weissella. These cultures have been used as starter or adjunct cultures for the fermentation of foods and beverages due to their contributions to the sensorial characteristics of these products and by microbiological stability. Their probiotic properties have also been investigated. More recent studies by indigenous cultures have received increased attention in light of the search for isolated cultures of a given raw material and a certain region. These microorganisms are being investigated for its functional and technological potential that may be applied in product development with its own characteristics and designation of origin. Those properties will be discussed in the present review in order to highlight the performance of these bacteria and the high degree of control over the fermentation process and standardization of the final product. The use of autochthonous cultures will be considered due the increase of studies of new cultures of lactic acid bacteria isolated of milk and meat of distinct products.

  20. Combined structural and functional imaging reveals cortical deactivations in grapheme-colour synaesthesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eO'Hanlon

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Synaesthesia is a heritable condition in which particular stimuli generate specific and consistent sensory percepts or associations in another modality or processing stream. Functional neuroimaging studies have identified potential correlates of these experiences, including, in some but not all cases, the hyperactivation of visuotemporal areas and of parietal areas thought to be involved in perceptual binding. Structural studies have identified a similarly variable spectrum of differences between synaesthetes and controls. However, it remains unclear the extent to which these neural correlates reflect the synaesthetic experience itself or additional phenotypes associated with the condition. Here, we acquired both structural and functional neuroimaging data comparing thirteen grapheme-colour synaesthetes with eleven non-synaesthetes. Using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging, we identify a number of clusters of increased volume of grey matter, of white matter or of increased fractional anisotropy in synaesthetes versus controls. To assess the possible involvement of these areas in the synaesthetic experience, we used nine areas of increased grey matter volume as regions of interest in an fMRI experiment that characterised the contrast in response to stimuli which induced synaesthesia (i.e. letters versus those which did not (non-meaningful symbols. Two of these areas, in left lateral occipital cortex and in postcentral gyrus, showed sensitivity to this contrast in synaesthetes but not controls. Unexpectedly, in both regions, the letter stimuli produced a strong negative BOLD signal in synaesthetes. An additional whole-brain fMRI analysis identified fourteen areas, three of which were driven mainly by a negative BOLD response to letters in synaesthetes. Our findings suggest that cortical deactivations may be involved in the conscious experience of internally generated synaesthetic percepts

  1. Metatranscriptomes reveal functional variation in diatom communities from the Antarctic Peninsula

    KAUST Repository

    Pearson, Gareth A

    2015-04-14

    Functional genomics of diatom-dominated communities fromthe Antarctic Peninsula was studied using comparative metatranscriptomics. Samples obtained from diatom-rich communities in the Bransfield Strait, the western Weddell Sea and sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea/Wilkins Ice Shelf yielded more than 500K pyrosequencing reads that were combined to produce a global metatranscriptome assembly. Multi-gene phylogenies recovered three distinct communities, and diatom-assigned contigs further indicated little read-sharing between communities, validating an assembly-based annotation and analysis approach. Although functional analysis recovered a core of abundant shared annotations that were expressed across the three diatom communities, over 40% of annotations (but accounting for <10% of sequences) were community-specific. The two pelagic communities differed in their expression of N-metabolism and acquisition genes, which was almost absent in post-bloom conditions in the Weddell Sea community, while enrichment of transporters for ammonia and urea in Bransfield Strait diatoms suggests a physiological stance towards acquisition of reduced N-sources. The depletion of carbohydrate and energy metabolism pathways in sea ice relative to pelagic communities, together with increased light energy dissipation (via LHCSR proteins), photorespiration, and NO3 - uptake and utilization all pointed to irradiance stress and/or inorganic carbon limitation within sea ice. Ice-binding proteins and cold-shock transcription factors were also enriched in sea ice diatoms. Surprisingly, the abundance of gene transcripts for the translational machinery tracked decreasing environmental temperature across only a 4 °C range, possibly reflecting constraints on translational efficiency and protein production in cold environments. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

  2. Lithosphere structure in Madagascar as revealed from receiver functions and surface waves analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rindraharisaona, E. J.; Tilmann, F. J.; Yuan, X.; Dreiling, J.; Priestley, K. F.; Barruol, G.; Wysession, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The geological history of Madagascar makes it an ideal place to study the lithospheric structure and its evolution. It comprises Archean to Proterozoic units on the central eastern part, which is surrounded by a Triassic to Jurassic basin formation in the west and Cretaceous volcanics along the coasts. Quaternary volcanic rocks have been embedded in crystalline and sedimentary rocks. The aim of the present work is to characterize the crustal structure and determine the imprint of the dominant geodynamic events that have affected Madagascar: the Pan-African orogeny, the breakup of Gondwanaland and Neogene tectonic activity. From 2011 to 2014 different temporary seismic arrays were deployed in Madagascar. We based the current study mostly on SELASOMA project, which is composed of 50 seismic stations that were installed traversing southern Madagascar from the west to the east, sampling the different geological units. To measured seismic dispersion curves, one a wide period ranges using ambient noise, Rayleigh and Love surface waves. To compute the average crustal Vp/Vs ratio internal crustal structure and discontinuities in the mantle, we use both P- and S-waves receiver functions. To better resolve of the crustal structure, we jointly inverted P-wave receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocity.The crustal extension during the Carboniferous to Cenozoic has thinned the igneous crust down to 15 km in the western Morondava basin by removing much of the lower crust, while the thickness of the upper crust is nearly identical in the sedimentary basin and under Proterozoic and Archaean rocks of the eastern two thirds of Southern Madagascar. In general, the Archean crust is thicker than the Proterozoic, because mafic component is missing in the Proterozoic domain while it forms the bottom of the Archean crust. The lithosphere thickness in the southern part of Madagascar is estimated to be between 90 and 125 km.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Principles of motivation revealed by the diverse functions of neuropharmacological and neuroanatomical substrates underlying feeding behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldo, Brian A; Pratt, Wayne E; Will, Matthew J; Hanlon, Erin C; Bakshi, Vaishali P; Cador, Martine

    2013-11-01

    Circuits that participate in specific subcomponents of feeding (e.g., gustatory perception, peripheral feedback relevant to satiety and energy balance, reward coding, etc.) are found at all levels of the neural axis. Further complexity is conferred by the wide variety of feeding-modulatory neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that act within these circuits. An ongoing challenge has been to refine the understanding of the functional specificity of these neurotransmitters and circuits, and there have been exciting advances in recent years. We focus here on foundational work of Dr. Ann Kelley that identified distinguishable actions of striatal opioid peptide modulation and dopamine transmission in subcomponents of reward processing. We also discuss her work in overlaying these neuropharmacological effects upon anatomical pathways that link the telencephalon (cortex and basal ganglia) with feeding-control circuits in the hypothalamus. Using these seminal contributions as a starting point, we will discuss new findings that expand our understanding of (1) the specific, differentiable motivational processes that are governed by central dopamine and opioid transmission, (2) the manner in which other striatal neuromodulators, specifically acetylcholine, endocannabinoids and adenosine, modulate these motivational processes (including via interactions with opioid systems), and (3) the organization of the cortical-subcortical network that subserves opioid-driven feeding. The findings discussed here strengthen the view that incentive-motivational properties of food are coded by substrates and neural circuits that are distinguishable from those that mediate the acute hedonic experience of food reward. Striatal opioid transmission modulates reward processing by engaging frontotemporal circuits, possibly via a hypothalamic-thalamic axis, that ultimately impinges upon hypothalamic modules dedicated to autonomic function and motor pattern control. We will conclude by discussing

  5. Metatranscriptomes reveal functional variation in diatom communities from the Antarctic Peninsula

    KAUST Repository

    Pearson, Gareth A; Lago-Leston, Asuncion; Cá novas, Fernando; Cox, Cymon J; Verret, Frederic; Lasternas, Sebastian; Duarte, Carlos M.; Agusti, Susana; Serrã o, Ester A

    2015-01-01

    Functional genomics of diatom-dominated communities fromthe Antarctic Peninsula was studied using comparative metatranscriptomics. Samples obtained from diatom-rich communities in the Bransfield Strait, the western Weddell Sea and sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea/Wilkins Ice Shelf yielded more than 500K pyrosequencing reads that were combined to produce a global metatranscriptome assembly. Multi-gene phylogenies recovered three distinct communities, and diatom-assigned contigs further indicated little read-sharing between communities, validating an assembly-based annotation and analysis approach. Although functional analysis recovered a core of abundant shared annotations that were expressed across the three diatom communities, over 40% of annotations (but accounting for <10% of sequences) were community-specific. The two pelagic communities differed in their expression of N-metabolism and acquisition genes, which was almost absent in post-bloom conditions in the Weddell Sea community, while enrichment of transporters for ammonia and urea in Bransfield Strait diatoms suggests a physiological stance towards acquisition of reduced N-sources. The depletion of carbohydrate and energy metabolism pathways in sea ice relative to pelagic communities, together with increased light energy dissipation (via LHCSR proteins), photorespiration, and NO3 - uptake and utilization all pointed to irradiance stress and/or inorganic carbon limitation within sea ice. Ice-binding proteins and cold-shock transcription factors were also enriched in sea ice diatoms. Surprisingly, the abundance of gene transcripts for the translational machinery tracked decreasing environmental temperature across only a 4 °C range, possibly reflecting constraints on translational efficiency and protein production in cold environments. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

  6. Structure-Activity Relationship and Molecular Mechanics Reveal the Importance of Ring Entropy in the Biosynthesis and Activity of a Natural Product.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Hai L; Lexa, Katrina W; Julien, Olivier; Young, Travis S; Walsh, Christopher T; Jacobson, Matthew P; Wells, James A

    2017-02-22

    Macrocycles are appealing drug candidates due to their high affinity, specificity, and favorable pharmacological properties. In this study, we explored the effects of chemical modifications to a natural product macrocycle upon its activity, 3D geometry, and conformational entropy. We chose thiocillin as a model system, a thiopeptide in the ribosomally encoded family of natural products that exhibits potent antimicrobial effects against Gram-positive bacteria. Since thiocillin is derived from a genetically encoded peptide scaffold, site-directed mutagenesis allows for rapid generation of analogues. To understand thiocillin's structure-activity relationship, we generated a site-saturation mutagenesis library covering each position along thiocillin's macrocyclic ring. We report the identification of eight unique compounds more potent than wild-type thiocillin, the best having an 8-fold improvement in potency. Computational modeling of thiocillin's macrocyclic structure revealed a striking requirement for a low-entropy macrocycle for activity. The populated ensembles of the active mutants showed a rigid structure with few adoptable conformations while inactive mutants showed a more flexible macrocycle which is unfavorable for binding. This finding highlights the importance of macrocyclization in combination with rigidifying post-translational modifications to achieve high-potency binding.

  7. Endocrine evaluation of puberty and post-partum ovarian function in indigenous and imported Brahman cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tan, H.S.; Ismaya, K.H.; Sulong, A.

    1990-01-01

    A study was conducted to monitor the reproductive performance of Kedah Kelantan (KK) and Brahman cattle maintained under similar environmental and management conditions on commercial farms in Malaysia. This allowed the physiological differences affecting reproductive efficiency to be identified in both pubertal and adult stock. The results revealed that the Brahman breed exhibited a better growth rate but poorer post-partum fertility than the KK. It appears that Brahman cattle require feed supplementation around the time of calving in order to reduce the duration of post-partum anoestrus. Both breeds exhibited late onset of puberty (on average at 25-36 months of age), although some animals initiated sexual activity at a much earlier age; this suggests that better selection as well as nutritional supplementation and possibly endocrine manipulation are necessary management inputs. Although the Brahman shows excellent potential in terms of performance per animal, the greater carrying capacity of the KK and its greater adaptiveness to local conditions indicate that this indigenous animal still has a major role to play in livestock production in Malaysia. (author). 20 refs, 1 fig., 6 tabs

  8. Dominant negative RPW8.2 fusion proteins reveal the importance of haustorium-oriented protein trafficking for resistance against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiong; Berkey, Robert; Pan, Zhiyong; Wang, Wenming; Zhang, Yi; Ma, Xianfeng; King, Harlan; Xiao, Shunyuan

    2015-01-01

    Powdery mildew fungi form feeding structures called haustoria inside epidermal cells of host plants to extract photosynthates for their epiphytic growth and reproduction. The haustorium is encased by an interfacial membrane termed the extrahaustorial membrane (EHM). The atypical resistance protein RPW8.2 from Arabidopsis is specifically targeted to the EHM where RPW8.2 activates haustorium-targeted (thus broad-spectrum) resistance against powdery mildew fungi. EHM-specific localization of RPW8.2 suggests the existence of an EHM-oriented protein/membrane trafficking pathway during EHM biogenesis. However, the importance of this specific trafficking pathway for host defense has not been evaluated via a genetic approach without affecting other trafficking pathways. Here, we report that expression of EHM-oriented, nonfunctional RPW8.2 chimeric proteins exerts dominant negative effect over functional RPW8.2 and potentially over other EHM-localized defense proteins, thereby compromising both RPW8.2-mediated and basal resistance to powdery mildew. Thus, our results highlight the importance of the EHM-oriented protein/membrane trafficking pathway for host resistance against haustorium-forming pathogens such as powdery mildew fungi.

  9. Comprehensive gene expression profiling reveals synergistic functional networks in cerebral vessels after hypertension or hypercholesterolemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Yi Ong

    Full Text Available Atherosclerotic stenosis of cerebral arteries or intracranial large artery disease (ICLAD is a major cause of stroke especially in Asians, Hispanics and Africans, but relatively little is known about gene expression changes in vessels at risk. This study compares comprehensive gene expression profiles in the middle cerebral artery (MCA of New Zealand White rabbits exposed to two stroke risk factors i.e. hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia, by the 2-Kidney-1-Clip method, or dietary supplementation with cholesterol. Microarray and Ingenuity Pathway Analyses of the MCA of the hypertensive rabbits showed up-regulated genes in networks containing the node molecules: UBC (ubiquitin, P38 MAPK, ERK, NFkB, SERPINB2, MMP1 and APP (amyloid precursor protein; and down-regulated genes related to MAPK, ERK 1/2, Akt, 26 s proteasome, histone H3 and UBC. The MCA of hypercholesterolemic rabbits showed differentially expressed genes that are surprisingly, linked to almost the same node molecules as the hypertensive rabbits, despite a relatively low percentage of 'common genes' (21 and 7% between the two conditions. Up-regulated common genes were related to: UBC, SERPINB2, TNF, HNF4A (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A and APP, and down-regulated genes, related to UBC. Increased HNF4A message and protein were verified in the aorta. Together, these findings reveal similar nodal molecules and gene pathways in cerebral vessels affected by hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, which could be a basis for synergistic action of risk factors in the pathogenesis of ICLAD.

  10. Comprehensive Gene Expression Profiling Reveals Synergistic Functional Networks in Cerebral Vessels after Hypertension or Hypercholesterolemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Wei-Yi; Ng, Mary Pei-Ern; Loke, Sau-Yeen; Jin, Shalai; Wu, Ya-Jun; Tanaka, Kazuhiro; Wong, Peter Tsun-Hon

    2013-01-01

    Atherosclerotic stenosis of cerebral arteries or intracranial large artery disease (ICLAD) is a major cause of stroke especially in Asians, Hispanics and Africans, but relatively little is known about gene expression changes in vessels at risk. This study compares comprehensive gene expression profiles in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) of New Zealand White rabbits exposed to two stroke risk factors i.e. hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia, by the 2-Kidney-1-Clip method, or dietary supplementation with cholesterol. Microarray and Ingenuity Pathway Analyses of the MCA of the hypertensive rabbits showed up-regulated genes in networks containing the node molecules: UBC (ubiquitin), P38 MAPK, ERK, NFkB, SERPINB2, MMP1 and APP (amyloid precursor protein); and down-regulated genes related to MAPK, ERK 1/2, Akt, 26 s proteasome, histone H3 and UBC. The MCA of hypercholesterolemic rabbits showed differentially expressed genes that are surprisingly, linked to almost the same node molecules as the hypertensive rabbits, despite a relatively low percentage of ‘common genes’ (21 and 7%) between the two conditions. Up-regulated common genes were related to: UBC, SERPINB2, TNF, HNF4A (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A) and APP, and down-regulated genes, related to UBC. Increased HNF4A message and protein were verified in the aorta. Together, these findings reveal similar nodal molecules and gene pathways in cerebral vessels affected by hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, which could be a basis for synergistic action of risk factors in the pathogenesis of ICLAD. PMID:23874591

  11. Dissection of Ire1 functions reveals stress response mechanisms uniquely evolved in Candida glabrata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taiga Miyazaki

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Proper protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER is vital in all eukaryotes. When misfolded proteins accumulate in the ER lumen, the transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease Ire1 initiates splicing of HAC1 mRNA to generate the bZIP transcription factor Hac1, which subsequently activates its target genes to increase the protein-folding capacity of the ER. This cellular machinery, called the unfolded protein response (UPR, is believed to be an evolutionarily conserved mechanism in eukaryotes. In this study, we comprehensively characterized mutant phenotypes of IRE1 and other related genes in the human fungal pathogen Candida glabrata. Unexpectedly, Ire1 was required for the ER stress response independently of Hac1 in this fungus. C. glabrata Ire1 did not cleave mRNAs encoding Hac1 and other bZIP transcription factors identified in the C. glabrata genome. Microarray analysis revealed that the transcriptional response to ER stress is not mediated by Ire1, but instead is dependent largely on calcineurin signaling and partially on the Slt2 MAPK pathway. The loss of Ire1 alone did not confer increased antifungal susceptibility in C. glabrata contrary to UPR-defective mutants in other fungi. Taken together, our results suggest that the canonical Ire1-Hac1 UPR is not conserved in C. glabrata. It is known in metazoans that active Ire1 nonspecifically cleaves and degrades a subset of ER-localized mRNAs to reduce the ER load. Intriguingly, this cellular response could occur in an Ire1 nuclease-dependent fashion in C. glabrata. We also uncovered the attenuated virulence of the C. glabrata Δire1 mutant in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. This study has unveiled the unique evolution of ER stress response mechanisms in C. glabrata.

  12. Localization of recombination proteins and Srs2 reveals anti-recombinase function in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burgess, Rebecca C; Lisby, Michael; Altmannova, Veronika

    2009-01-01

    , and surprisingly, can form in the absence of Rad52 mediation. However, these Rad51 foci do not represent repair-proficient filaments, as determined by recombination assays. Antagonistic roles for Rad52 and Srs2 in Rad51 filament formation are also observed in vitro. Furthermore, we provide evidence that Srs2......Homologous recombination (HR), although an important DNA repair mechanism, is dangerous to the cell if improperly regulated. The Srs2 "anti-recombinase" restricts HR by disassembling the Rad51 nucleoprotein filament, an intermediate preceding the exchange of homologous DNA strands. Here, we...... removes Rad51 indiscriminately from DNA, while the Rad52 protein coordinates appropriate filament reformation. This constant breakdown and rebuilding of filaments may act as a stringent quality control mechanism during HR....

  13. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David S.

    2014-07-09

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  14. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David  S.; Poulin, Benoit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Wall, Richard  J.; Ferguson, David  J.P.; Brady, Declan; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Whipple, Sarah; Straschil, Ursula; Wright, Megan  H.; Mohamed, Alyaa  M.A.H.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Arold, Stefan T.; Tate, Edward  W.; Holder, Anthony  A.; Wickstead, Bill; Pain, Arnab; Tewari, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  15. Cancer treatment in childhood and testicular function: the importance of the somatic environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stukenborg, Jan-Bernd; Jahnukainen, Kirsi; Hutka, Marsida

    2018-01-01

    Testicular function and future fertility may be affected by cancer treatment during childhood. Whilst survival of the germ (stem) cells is critical for ensuring the potential for fertility in these patients, the somatic cell populations also play a crucial role in providing a suitable environment to support germ cell maintenance and subsequent development. Regulation of the spermatogonial germ-stem cell niche involves many signalling pathways with hormonal influence from the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. In this review, we describe the somatic cell populations that comprise the testicular germ-stem cell niche in humans and how they may be affected by cancer treatment during childhood. We also discuss the experimental models that may be utilized to manipulate the somatic environment and report the results of studies that investigate the potential role of somatic cells in the protection of the germ cells in the testis from cancer treatment. PMID:29351905

  16. Quantitative Analysis of the Association Angle between T-cell Receptor Vα/Vβ Domains Reveals Important Features for Epitope Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Hoffmann

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available T-cell receptors (TCR play an important role in the adaptive immune system as they recognize pathogen- or cancer-based epitopes and thus initiate the cell-mediated immune response. Therefore there exists a growing interest in the optimization of TCRs for medical purposes like adoptive T-cell therapy. However, the molecular mechanisms behind T-cell signaling are still predominantly unknown. For small sets of TCRs it was observed that the angle between their Vα- and Vβ-domains, which bind the epitope, can vary and might be important for epitope recognition. Here we present a comprehensive, quantitative study of the variation in the Vα/Vβ interdomain-angle and its influence on epitope recognition, performing a systematic bioinformatics analysis based on a representative set of experimental TCR structures. For this purpose we developed a new, cuboid-based superpositioning method, which allows a unique, quantitative analysis of the Vα/Vβ-angles. Angle-based clustering led to six significantly different clusters. Analysis of these clusters revealed the unexpected result that the angle is predominantly influenced by the TCR-clonotype, whereas the bound epitope has only a minor influence. Furthermore we could identify a previously unknown center of rotation (CoR, which is shared by all TCRs. All TCR geometries can be obtained by rotation around this center, rendering it a new, common TCR feature with the potential of improving the accuracy of TCR structure prediction considerably. The importance of Vα/Vβ rotation for signaling was confirmed as we observed larger variances in the Vα/Vβ-angles in unbound TCRs compared to epitope-bound TCRs. Our results strongly support a two-step mechanism for TCR-epitope: First, preformation of a flexible TCR geometry in the unbound state and second, locking of the Vα/Vβ-angle in a TCR-type specific geometry upon epitope-MHC association, the latter being driven by rotation around the unique center of rotation.

  17. Hot and Cool Executive Functions in Adolescence: Development and Contributions to Important Developmental Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Kean

    2018-01-01

    Despite significant theoretical advancement in the area of child neuropsychology, limited attention has been paid to the developmental features of adolescence. The present study intends to address this issue in relation to executive function (EF). EF refers to the psychological processes that underlie goal-directed behavior; recent studies separate cool EF (psychological process involves pure logic and critical analysis) and hot EF (psychological process driven by emotion). Although neurological findings suggest that adolescence is a sensitive period for EF development, data on comparing the developmental progression in hot or cool EFs is highly missing. Moreover, while evidence has confirmed the relationships between EF and day-to-day functioning, whether and how hot and cool EFs contribute to core developmental outcomes in adolescence is still remained unknown. The current study aims to enhance our understanding of the development and impacts of hot and cool EFs in adolescence. A total of 136 typically developing adolescents from age 12 to 17 completed four cool EF tasks including Backward digit span, Contingency naming test, Stockings of Cambridge, and Stroop Color and Word test, and one hot task on Cambridge gambling task. Data on academic performance and psychological adjustment was also collected. Results showed that cool and hot EF exhibited different patterns of age-related growth in adolescence. Specifically, cool EF ascended with age while hot EF showed a bell-shaped development. Moreover, there were correlations among cool EF measures but no association between cool and hot EFs. Further, cool EF was a better predictor of academic performance, while hot EF uniquely related to emotional problems. The results provide evidence for the association among cool EF tests and the differentiation of hot and cool EFs. The bell-shaped development of hot EF might suggest a period of heightened risk-taking propensity in middle adolescence. Given the plastic nature of

  18. Importance of glycosylation on function of a potassium channel in neuroblastoma cells.

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    M K Hall

    Full Text Available The Kv3.1 glycoprotein, a voltage-gated potassium channel, is expressed throughout the central nervous system. The role of N-glycans attached to the Kv3.1 glycoprotein on conducting and non-conducting functions of the Kv3.1 channel are quite limiting. Glycosylated (wild type, partially glycosylated (N220Q and N229Q, and unglycosylated (N220Q/N229Q Kv3.1 proteins were expressed and characterized in a cultured neuronal-derived cell model, B35 neuroblastoma cells. Western blots, whole cell current recordings, and wound healing assays were employed to provide evidence that the conducting and non-conducting properties of the Kv3.1 channel were modified by N-glycans of the Kv3.1 glycoprotein. Electrophoretic migration of the various Kv3.1 proteins treated with PNGase F and neuraminidase verified that the glycosylation sites were occupied and that the N-glycans could be sialylated, respectively. The unglycosylated channel favored a different whole cell current pattern than the glycoform. Further the outward ionic currents of the unglycosylated channel had slower activation and deactivation rates than those of the glycosylated Kv3.1 channel. These kinetic parameters of the partially glycosylated Kv3.1 channels were also slowed. B35 cells expressing glycosylated Kv3.1 protein migrated faster than those expressing partially glycosylated and much faster than those expressing the unglycosylated Kv3.1 protein. These results have demonstrated that N-glycans of the Kv3.1 glycoprotein enhance outward ionic current kinetics, and neuronal migration. It is speculated that physiological changes which lead to a reduction in N-glycan attachment to proteins will alter the functions of the Kv3.1 channel.

  19. Hot and Cool Executive Functions in Adolescence: Development and Contributions to Important Developmental Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kean Poon

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite significant theoretical advancement in the area of child neuropsychology, limited attention has been paid to the developmental features of adolescence. The present study intends to address this issue in relation to executive function (EF. EF refers to the psychological processes that underlie goal-directed behavior; recent studies separate cool EF (psychological process involves pure logic and critical analysis and hot EF (psychological process driven by emotion. Although neurological findings suggest that adolescence is a sensitive period for EF development, data on comparing the developmental progression in hot or cool EFs is highly missing. Moreover, while evidence has confirmed the relationships between EF and day-to-day functioning, whether and how hot and cool EFs contribute to core developmental outcomes in adolescence is still remained unknown. The current study aims to enhance our understanding of the development and impacts of hot and cool EFs in adolescence. A total of 136 typically developing adolescents from age 12 to 17 completed four cool EF tasks including Backward digit span, Contingency naming test, Stockings of Cambridge, and Stroop Color and Word test, and one hot task on Cambridge gambling task. Data on academic performance and psychological adjustment was also collected. Results showed that cool and hot EF exhibited different patterns of age-related growth in adolescence. Specifically, cool EF ascended with age while hot EF showed a bell-shaped development. Moreover, there were correlations among cool EF measures but no association between cool and hot EFs. Further, cool EF was a better predictor of academic performance, while hot EF uniquely related to emotional problems. The results provide evidence for the association among cool EF tests and the differentiation of hot and cool EFs. The bell-shaped development of hot EF might suggest a period of heightened risk-taking propensity in middle adolescence. Given the

  20. Aspirin exposure reveals novel genes associated with platelet function and cardiovascular events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voora, Deepak; Cyr, Derek; Lucas, Joseph; Chi, Jen-Tsan; Dungan, Jennifer; McCaffrey, Timothy A; Katz, Richard; Newby, L Kristin; Kraus, William E; Becker, Richard C; Ortel, Thomas L; Ginsburg, Geoffrey S

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this study was to develop ribonucleic acid (RNA) profiles that could serve as novel biomarkers for the response to aspirin. Aspirin reduces death and myocardial infarction (MI), suggesting that aspirin interacts with biological pathways that may underlie these events. Aspirin was administered, followed by whole-blood RNA microarray profiling, in a discovery cohort of healthy volunteers (HV1) (n = 50) and 2 validation cohorts of healthy volunteers (HV2) (n = 53) and outpatient cardiology patients (OPC) (n = 25). Platelet function was assessed using the platelet function score (PFS) in HV1 and HV2 and the VerifyNow Aspirin Test (Accumetrics, Inc., San Diego, California) in OPC. Bayesian sparse factor analysis identified sets of coexpressed transcripts, which were examined for associations with PFS in HV1 and validated in HV2 and OPC. Proteomic analysis confirmed the association of validated transcripts in platelet proteins. Validated gene sets were tested for association with death or MI in 2 patient cohorts (n = 587 total) from RNA samples collected at cardiac catheterization. A set of 60 coexpressed genes named the "aspirin response signature" (ARS) was associated with PFS in HV1 (r = -0.31, p = 0.03), HV2 (r = -0.34, Bonferroni p = 0.03), and OPC (p = 0.046). Corresponding proteins for the 17 ARS genes were identified in the platelet proteome, of which 6 were associated with PFS. The ARS was associated with death or MI in both patient cohorts (odds ratio: 1.2 [p = 0.01]; hazard ratio: 1.5 [p = 0.001]), independent of cardiovascular risk factors. Compared with traditional risk factors, reclassification (net reclassification index = 31% to 37%, p ≤ 0.0002) was improved by including the ARS or 1 of its genes, ITGA2B. RNA profiles of platelet-specific genes are novel biomarkers for identifying patients who do not respond adequately to aspirin and who are at risk for death or MI. Copyright © 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by

  1. Moho Depth Variations in the Northeastern North China Craton Revealed by Receiver Function Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, P.; Chen, L.; Yao, H.; Fang, L.

    2016-12-01

    The North China Craton (NCC), one of the oldest cratons in the world, has attracted wide attention in Earth Science for decades because of the unusual Mesozoic destruction of its cratonic lithosphere. Understanding the deep processes and mechanism of this craton destruction demands detailed knowledge about the deep structure of the region. In this study, we used two-year teleseismic receiver function data from the North China Seismic Array consisting of 200 broadband stations deployed in the northeastern NCC to image the Moho undulation of the region. A 2-D wave equation-based poststack depth migration method was employed to construct the structural images along 19 profiles, and a pseudo 3D crustal velocity model of the region based on previous ambient noise tomography and receiver function study was adopted in the migration. We considered both the Ps and PpPs phases, but in some cases we also conducted PpSs+PsPs migration using different back azimuth ranges of the data, and calculated the travel times of all the considered phases to constrain the Moho depths. By combining the structure images along the 19 profiles, we got a high-resolution Moho depth map beneath the northeastern NCC. Our results broadly consist with the results of previous active source studies [http://www.craton.cn/data], and show a good correlation of the Moho depths with geological and tectonic features. Generally, the Moho depths are distinctly different on the opposite sides of the North-South Gravity Lineament. The Moho in the west are deeper than 40 km and shows a rapid uplift from 40 km to 30 km beneath the Taihang Mountain Range in the middle. To the east in the Bohai Bay Basin, the Moho further shallows to 30-26 km depth and undulates by 3 km, coinciding well with the depressions and uplifts inside the basin. The Moho depth beneath the Yin-Yan Mountains in the north gradually decreases from 42 km in the west to 25 km in the east, varying much smoother than that to the south.

  2. Functional Insights Revealed by the Kinetic Mechanism of CRISPR/Cas9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raper, Austin T; Stephenson, Anthony A; Suo, Zucai

    2018-02-28

    The discovery of prokaryotic adaptive immunity prompted widespread use of the RNA-guided clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) endonuclease Cas9 for genetic engineering. However, its kinetic mechanism remains undefined, and details of DNA cleavage are poorly characterized. Here, we establish a kinetic mechanism of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 from guide-RNA binding through DNA cleavage and product release. Association of DNA to the binary complex of Cas9 and guide-RNA is rate-limiting during the first catalytic turnover, while DNA cleavage from a pre-formed ternary complex of Cas9, guide-RNA, and DNA is rapid. Moreover, an extremely slow release of DNA products essentially restricts Cas9 to be a single-turnover enzyme. By simultaneously measuring the contributions of the HNH and RuvC nuclease activities of Cas9 to DNA cleavage, we also uncovered the kinetic basis by which HNH conformationally regulates the RuvC cleavage activity. Together, our results provide crucial kinetic and functional details regarding Cas9 which will inform gene-editing experiments, guide future research to understand off-target DNA cleavage by Cas9, and aid in the continued development of Cas9 as a biotechnological tool.

  3. Situating and teaching 21st century zoology: revealing pattern in the form and function of animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Anthony P

    2009-09-01

    The current challenges (increasing levels of integration in the biological sciences) facing the teaching of zoology and the structure of the zoology curriculum are explored herein. General context is provided and a more focused scrutiny of the situation in North America is presented. The changing emphases in more broadly-based biological sciences programs in North America are outlined, and their influence on the role of zoology as part of fundamental biological training is considered. The longer term impact of such changes in emphasis on the teaching of zoology is discussed, and the central role that zoology can play in dealing with both science content and science education is advanced. Based upon a focal workshop on the future of the zoology curriculum in Canada, a perspective on the challenges facing curriculum evolution is provided. Extensive curriculum redesign is called for to ensure that zoology provides a broad-scale integrative approach to the understanding of biodiversity in evolutionary, ecological and functional contexts. Barriers to, and drivers of change are identified and the need for collaborative approaches to curricular evolution is emphasized. © 2009 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  4. Bite of the cats: relationships between functional integration and mechanical performance as revealed by mandible geometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piras, Paolo; Maiorino, Leonardo; Teresi, Luciano; Meloro, Carlo; Lucci, Federico; Kotsakis, Tassos; Raia, Pasquale

    2013-11-01

    Cat-like carnivorous mammals represent a relatively homogeneous group of species whose morphology appears constrained by exclusive adaptations for meat eating. We present the most comprehensive data set of extant and extinct cat-like species to test for evolutionary transformations in size, shape and mechanical performance, that is, von Mises stress and surface traction, of the mandible. Size and shape were both quantified by means of geometric morphometrics, whereas mechanical performance was assessed applying finite element models to 2D geometry of the mandible. Additionally, we present the first almost complete composite phylogeny of cat-like carnivorans for which well-preserved mandibles are known, including representatives of 35 extant and 59 extinct species of Felidae, Nimravidae, and Barbourofelidae. This phylogeny was used to test morphological differentiation, allometry, and covariation of mandible parts within and among clades. After taking phylogeny into account, we found that both allometry and mechanical variables exhibit a significant impact on mandible shape. We also tested whether mechanical performance was linked to morphological integration. Mechanical stress at the coronoid process is higher in sabertoothed cats than in any other clade. This is strongly related to the high degree of covariation within modules of sabertooths mandibles. We found significant correlation between integration at the clade level and per-clade averaged stress values, on both original data and by partialling out interclade allometry from shapes when calculating integration. This suggests a strong interaction between natural selection and the evolution of developmental and functional modules at the clade level.

  5. Tracking of plus-ends reveals microtubule functional diversity in different cell types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaebani, M. Reza; Pasula, Aravind; Ott, Albrecht; Santen, Ludger

    2016-07-01

    Many cellular processes are tightly connected to the dynamics of microtubules (MTs). While in neuronal axons MTs mainly regulate intracellular trafficking, they participate in cytoskeleton reorganization in many other eukaryotic cells, enabling the cell to efficiently adapt to changes in the environment. We show that the functional differences of MTs in different cell types and regions is reflected in the dynamic properties of MT tips. Using plus-end tracking proteins EB1 to monitor growing MT plus-ends, we show that MT dynamics and life cycle in axons of human neurons significantly differ from that of fibroblast cells. The density of plus-ends, as well as the rescue and catastrophe frequencies increase while the growth rate decreases toward the fibroblast cell margin. This results in a rather stable filamentous network structure and maintains the connection between nucleus and membrane. In contrast, plus-ends are uniformly distributed along the axons and exhibit diverse polymerization run times and spatially homogeneous rescue and catastrophe frequencies, leading to MT segments of various lengths. The probability distributions of the excursion length of polymerization and the MT length both follow nearly exponential tails, in agreement with the analytical predictions of a two-state model of MT dynamics.

  6. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V; Verbesselt, Jan; de Beurs, Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-08-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data, and expert knowledge, this study provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (P agricultural land abandonment. Our study also showed that recurrent droughts deeply affected vegetation productivity throughout the observation period, with a general worsening of the drought conditions in recent years. Moreover, recent human-induced turning points in ecosystem functioning were detected and attributed to ongoing recultivation and change in irrigation practices in the Volgograd region, and to increased salinization and increased grazing intensity around Lake Balkhash. The ecosystem-state assessment method introduced here proved to be a valuable support that highlighted hotspots of potentially altered ecosystems and allowed for disentangling human from climatic disturbances. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals functional anatomy and biomechanics of a living dragon tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Linnea; Masselter, Tom; Leupold, Jochen; Spengler, Nils; Speck, Thomas; Korvink, Jan Gerrit

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to gain in vivo insight into load-induced displacements of inner plant tissues making a non-invasive and non-destructive stress and strain analysis possible. The central aim of this study was the identification of a possible load-adapted orientation of the vascular bundles and their fibre caps as the mechanically relevant tissue in branch-stem-attachments of Dracaena marginata. The complex three-dimensional deformations that occur during mechanical loading can be analysed on the basis of quasi-three-dimensional data representations of the outer surface, the inner tissue arrangement (meristem and vascular system), and the course of single vascular bundles within the branch-stem-attachment region. In addition, deformations of vascular bundles could be quantified manually and by using digital image correlation software. This combination of qualitative and quantitative stress and strain analysis leads to an improved understanding of the functional morphology and biomechanics of D. marginata, a plant that is used as a model organism for optimizing branched technical fibre-reinforced lightweight trusses in order to increase their load bearing capacity. PMID:27604526

  8. Network-based analysis reveals functional connectivity related to internet addiction tendency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanya eWen

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionPreoccupation and compulsive use of the internet can have negative psychological effects, such that it is increasingly being recognized as a mental disorder. The present study employed network-based statistics to explore how whole-brain functional connections at rest is related to the extent of individual’s level of internet addiction, indexed by a self-rated questionnaire. We identified two topologically significant networks, one with connections that are positively correlated with internet addiction tendency, and one with connections negatively correlated with internet addiction tendency. The two networks are interconnected mostly at frontal regions, which might reflect alterations in the frontal region for different aspects of cognitive control (i.e., for control of internet usage and gaming skills. Next, we categorized the brain into several large regional subgroupings, and found that the majority of proportions of connections in the two networks correspond to the cerebellar model of addiction which encompasses the four-circuit model. Lastly, we observed that the brain regions with the most inter-regional connections associated with internet addiction tendency replicate those often seen in addiction literature, and is corroborated by our meta-analysis of internet addiction studies. This research provides a better understanding of large-scale networks involved in internet addiction tendency and shows that pre-clinical levels of internet addiction are associated with similar regions and connections as clinical cases of addiction.

  9. Chemical Transport Knockout for Oxidized Vitamin C, Dehydroascorbic Acid, Reveals Its Functions in vivo

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    Hongbin Tu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite its transport by glucose transporters (GLUTs in vitro, it is unknown whether dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized vitamin C, DHA has any in vivo function. To investigate, we created a chemical transport knockout model using the vitamin C analog 6-bromo-ascorbate. This analog is transported on sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters but its oxidized form, 6-bromo-dehydroascorbic acid, is not transported by GLUTs. Mice (gulo−/− unable to synthesize ascorbate (vitamin C were raised on 6-bromo-ascorbate. Despite normal survival, centrifugation of blood produced hemolysis secondary to near absence of red blood cell (RBC ascorbate/6-bromo-ascorbate. Key findings with clinical implications were that RBCs in vitro transported dehydroascorbic acid but not bromo-dehydroascorbic acid; RBC ascorbate in vivo was obtained only via DHA transport; ascorbate via DHA transport in vivo was necessary for RBC structural integrity; and internal RBC ascorbate was essential to maintain ascorbate plasma concentrations in vitro/in vivo.

  10. Acquisition of omptin reveals cryptic virulence function of autotransporter YapE in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Jarrod; Miller, Virginia L.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Autotransporters, the largest family of secreted proteins in Gram negative bacteria, perform a variety of functions, including adherence, cytotoxicity, and immune evasion. In Yersinia pestis the autotransporter YapE has adhesive properties and contributes to bubonic infection of the mouse model. Here, we demonstrate that omptin cleavage of Y. pestis YapE is required to mediate bacterial aggregation and adherence to eukaryotic cells. We demonstrate that omptin cleavage is specific for the Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis YapE orthologs but is not conserved in the Y. enterocolitica protein. We also show that cleavage of YapE occurs in Y. pestis but not in the enteric Yersinia species, and requires the omptin Pla (plasminogen activator protease), which is encoded on the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pPCP1. Together, these data show that post-translation modification of YapE appears to be specific to Y. pestis, was acquired along with the acquisition of pPCP1 during the divergence of Y. pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis, and are the first evidence of a novel mechanism to regulate bacterial adherence. PMID:23701256

  11. Digoxin reveals a functional connection between HIV-1 integration preference and T-cell activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhyvoloup, Alexander; Melamed, Anat; Anderson, Ian; Planas, Delphine; Lee, Chen-Hsuin; Kriston-Vizi, Janos; Ketteler, Robin; Merritt, Andy; Routy, Jean-Pierre; Ancuta, Petronela; Bangham, Charles R M; Fassati, Ariberto

    2017-07-01

    HIV-1 integrates more frequently into transcribed genes, however the biological significance of HIV-1 integration targeting has remained elusive. Using a selective high-throughput chemical screen, we discovered that the cardiac glycoside digoxin inhibits wild-type HIV-1 infection more potently than HIV-1 bearing a single point mutation (N74D) in the capsid protein. We confirmed that digoxin repressed viral gene expression by targeting the cellular Na+/K+ ATPase, but this did not explain its selectivity. Parallel RNAseq and integration mapping in infected cells demonstrated that digoxin inhibited expression of genes involved in T-cell activation and cell metabolism. Analysis of >400,000 unique integration sites showed that WT virus integrated more frequently than N74D mutant within or near genes susceptible to repression by digoxin and involved in T-cell activation and cell metabolism. Two main gene networks down-regulated by the drug were CD40L and CD38. Blocking CD40L by neutralizing antibodies selectively inhibited WT virus infection, phenocopying digoxin. Thus the selectivity of digoxin depends on a combination of integration targeting and repression of specific gene networks. The drug unmasked a functional connection between HIV-1 integration and T-cell activation. Our results suggest that HIV-1 evolved integration site selection to couple its early gene expression with the status of target CD4+ T-cells, which may affect latency and viral reactivation.

  12. Digoxin reveals a functional connection between HIV-1 integration preference and T-cell activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Zhyvoloup

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available HIV-1 integrates more frequently into transcribed genes, however the biological significance of HIV-1 integration targeting has remained elusive. Using a selective high-throughput chemical screen, we discovered that the cardiac glycoside digoxin inhibits wild-type HIV-1 infection more potently than HIV-1 bearing a single point mutation (N74D in the capsid protein. We confirmed that digoxin repressed viral gene expression by targeting the cellular Na+/K+ ATPase, but this did not explain its selectivity. Parallel RNAseq and integration mapping in infected cells demonstrated that digoxin inhibited expression of genes involved in T-cell activation and cell metabolism. Analysis of >400,000 unique integration sites showed that WT virus integrated more frequently than N74D mutant within or near genes susceptible to repression by digoxin and involved in T-cell activation and cell metabolism. Two main gene networks down-regulated by the drug were CD40L and CD38. Blocking CD40L by neutralizing antibodies selectively inhibited WT virus infection, phenocopying digoxin. Thus the selectivity of digoxin depends on a combination of integration targeting and repression of specific gene networks. The drug unmasked a functional connection between HIV-1 integration and T-cell activation. Our results suggest that HIV-1 evolved integration site selection to couple its early gene expression with the status of target CD4+ T-cells, which may affect latency and viral reactivation.

  13. Language processing of auditory cortex revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging in presbycusis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xianming; Wang, Maoxin; Deng, Yihong; Liang, Yonghui; Li, Jianzhong; Chen, Shiyan

    2016-01-01

    Contralateral temporal lobe activation decreases with aging, regardless of hearing status, with elderly individuals showing reduced right ear advantage. Aging and hearing loss possibly lead to presbycusis speech discrimination decline. To evaluate presbycusis patients' auditory cortex activation under verbal stimulation. Thirty-six patients were enrolled: 10 presbycusis patients (mean age = 64 years, range = 60-70), 10 in the healthy aged group (mean age = 66 years, range = 60-70), and 16 young healthy volunteers (mean age = 25 years, range = 23-28). These three groups underwent simultaneous 1 kHz and 90 dB single-syllable word stimuli and (blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging) BOLD fMRI examinations. The main activation regions were superior temporal and middle temporal gyrus. For all aged subjects, the right region of interest (ROI) activation volume was decreased compared with the young group. With left ear stimulation, bilateral ROI activation intensity held. With right ear stimulation, the aged group's activation intensity was higher. Using monaural stimulation in the young group, contralateral temporal lobe activation volume and intensity were higher vs ipsilateral, while they were lower in the aged and presbycusis groups. On left and right ear auditory tasks, the young group showed right ear advantage, while the aged and presbycusis groups showed reduced right ear advantage.

  14. Pam heterozygous mice reveal essential role for Cu in amygdalar behavioral and synaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaier, Eric D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E

    2014-05-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential element with many biological roles, but its roles in the mammalian nervous system are poorly understood. Mice deficient in the cuproenzyme peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (Pam(+/-) mice) were initially generated to study neuropeptide amidation. Pam(+/-) mice exhibit profound deficits in a few behavioral tasks, including enhancements in innate fear along with deficits in acquired fear. Interestingly, several Pam(+/-) phenotypes were recapitulated in Cu-restricted wild-type mice and rescued in Cu-supplemented Pam(+/-) mice. These behaviors correspond to enhanced excitability and deficient synaptic plasticity in the amygdala of Pam(+/-) mice, which are also rescued by Cu supplementation. Cu and ATP7A are present at synapses, in key positions to respond to and influence synaptic activity. Further study demonstrated that extracellular Cu is necessary for wild-type synaptic plasticity and sufficient to induce long-term potentiation. These experiments support roles for PAM in Cu homeostasis and for synaptic Cu in amygdalar function. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  15. Diverse Requirements for Microglial Survival, Specification, and Function Revealed by Defined-Medium Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlen, Christopher J; Bennett, F Chris; Tucker, Andrew F; Collins, Hannah Y; Mulinyawe, Sara B; Barres, Ben A

    2017-05-17

    Microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, engage in various CNS-specific functions that are critical for development and health. To better study microglia and the properties that distinguish them from other tissue macrophage populations, we have optimized serum-free culture conditions to permit robust survival of highly ramified adult microglia under defined-medium conditions. We find that astrocyte-derived factors prevent microglial death ex vivo and that this activity results from three primary components, CSF-1/IL-34, TGF-β2, and cholesterol. Using microglial cultures that have never been exposed to serum, we demonstrate a dramatic and lasting change in phagocytic capacity after serum exposure. Finally, we find that mature microglia rapidly lose signature gene expression after isolation, and that this loss can be reversed by engrafting cells back into an intact CNS environment. These data indicate that the specialized gene expression profile of mature microglia requires continuous instructive signaling from the intact CNS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Function of the ATR N-terminal domain revealed by an ATM/ATR chimera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Xinping; Zhao Runxiang; Glick, Gloria G.; Cortez, David

    2007-01-01

    The ATM and ATR kinases function at the apex of checkpoint signaling pathways. These kinases share significant sequence similarity, phosphorylate many of the same substrates, and have overlapping roles in initiating cell cycle checkpoints. However, they sense DNA damage through distinct mechanisms. ATR primarily senses single stranded DNA (ssDNA) through its interaction with ATRIP, and ATM senses double strand breaks through its interaction with Nbs1. We determined that the N-terminus of ATR contains a domain that binds ATRIP. Attaching this domain to ATM allowed the fusion protein (ATM*) to bind ATRIP and associate with RPA-coated ssDNA. ATM* also gained the ability to localize efficiently to stalled replication forks as well as double strand breaks. Despite having normal kinase activity when tested in vitro and being phosphorylated on S1981 in vivo, ATM* is defective in checkpoint signaling and does not complement cellular deficiencies in either ATM or ATR. These data indicate that the N-terminus of ATR is sufficient to bind ATRIP and to promote localization to sites of replication stress

  17. Whole-brain analytic measures of network communication reveal increased structure-function correlation in right temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirsich, Jonathan; Perry, Alistair; Ridley, Ben; Proix, Timothée; Golos, Mathieu; Bénar, Christian; Ranjeva, Jean-Philippe; Bartolomei, Fabrice; Breakspear, Michael; Jirsa, Viktor; Guye, Maxime

    2016-01-01

    The in vivo structure-function relationship is key to understanding brain network reorganization due to pathologies. This relationship is likely to be particularly complex in brain network diseases such as temporal lobe epilepsy, in which disturbed large-scale systems are involved in both transient electrical events and long-lasting functional and structural impairments. Herein, we estimated this relationship by analyzing the correlation between structural connectivity and functional connectivity in terms of analytical network communication parameters. As such, we targeted the gradual topological structure-function reorganization caused by the pathology not only at the whole brain scale but also both in core and peripheral regions of the brain. We acquired diffusion (dMRI) and resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) data in seven right-lateralized TLE (rTLE) patients and fourteen healthy controls and analyzed the structure-function relationship by using analytical network communication metrics derived from the structural connectome. In rTLE patients, we found a widespread hypercorrelated functional network. Network communication analysis revealed greater unspecific branching of the shortest path (search information) in the structural connectome and a higher global correlation between the structural and functional connectivity for the patient group. We also found evidence for a preserved structural rich-club in the patient group. In sum, global augmentation of structure-function correlation might be linked to a smaller functional repertoire in rTLE patients, while sparing the central core of the brain which may represent a pathway that facilitates the spread of seizures.

  18. Phylogeny and phylogeography of functional genes shared among seven terrestrial subsurface metagenomes reveal N-cycling and microbial evolutionary relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maggie CY Lau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on community phylogenetics and phylogeography of microorganisms living in extreme environments are rare. Terrestrial subsurface habitats are valuable for studying microbial biogeographical patterns due to their isolation and the restricted dispersal mechanisms. Since the taxonomic identity of a microorganism does not always correspond well with its functional role in a particular community, the use of taxonomic assignments or patterns may give limited inference on how microbial functions are affected by historical, geographical and environmental factors. With seven metagenomic libraries generated from fracture water samples collected from five South African mines, this study was carried out to (1 screen for ubiquitous functions or pathways of biogeochemical cycling of CH4, S and N; (2 to characterize the biodiversity represented by the common functional genes; (3 to investigate the subsurface biogeography as revealed by this subset of genes; and (4 to explore the possibility of using metagenomic data for evolutionary study. The ubiquitous functional genes are NarV, NPD, PAP reductase, NifH, NifD, NifK, NifE and NifN genes. Although these 8 common functional genes were taxonomically and phylogenetically diverse and distinct from each other, the dissimilarity between samples did not correlate strongly with either geographical, environmental or residence time of the water. Por genes homologous to those of Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii detected in all metagenomes were deep lineages of Nitrospirae, suggesting that subsurface habitats have preserved ancestral genetic signatures that inform the study of the origin and evolution of prokaryotes.

  19. On the function and importance of research design in existential-phenomenological qualitative research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feilberg, Casper

    inquiry. This is very different from the research traditions within the social sciences, which traditionally emphasizes the importance of research design and a controlled inquiry, even with respect to qualitative research. Social research is traditionally divided into three phases: planning, execution...... in a convincing way. This principle of controlled inquiry manifests itself in different ways within qualitative and quantitative traditions of social science research. But still, is this principle also applicable and relevant with respect to qualitative human science research? I think so. I hence make...... the argument that there would be a fruitful contribution to much phenomenological research from a greater emphasis on research design and controlled inquiry. But is it possible to combine these social science research principles with a phenomenological and hermeneutical approach to qualitative research...

  20. Functional comparison of the nematode Hox gene lin-39 in C. elegans and P. pacificus reveals evolutionary conservation of protein function despite divergence of primary sequences

    OpenAIRE

    Grandien, Kaj; Sommer, Ralf J.

    2001-01-01

    Hox transcription factors have been implicated in playing a central role in the evolution of animal morphology. Many studies indicate the evolutionary importance of regulatory changes in Hox genes, but little is known about the role of functional changes in Hox proteins. In the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans, developmental processes can be compared at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels and differences in gene function can be identified. The Hox gene lin-3...

  1. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of a mouse gene upregulated by lipopolysaccharide treatment reveals alternative splicing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du, Kejun; Chen, Yaoming; Dai, Zongming; Bi, Yuan; Cai, Tongjian [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032, Shaanxi Province (China); Hou, Lichao [Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032, Shaanxi Province (China); Chai, Yubo; Song, Qinghe; Chen, Sumin [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032, Shaanxi Province (China); Luo, Wenjing, E-mail: luowenj@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032, Shaanxi Province (China); Chen, Jingyuan, E-mail: jy_chen@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032, Shaanxi Province (China)

    2010-01-01

    Treatment of mouse cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) potently initiates an inflammatory response, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We therefore sought to characterize cDNA sequences of a new mouse LPS-responsive gene, and to evaluate the effects of MLrg. Full-length cDNAs were obtained from LPS-treated NIH3T3 cells. We report that the MLrg gene produces two alternative splice products (GenBank Accession Nos. (DQ316984) and (DQ320011)), respectively, encoding MLrgW and MLrgS polypeptides. Both proteins contain zinc finger and leucine zipper domains and are thus potential regulators of transcription. Expression of MLrgW and MLrgS were robustly upregulated following LPS treatment, and the proteins were localized predominantly in the nuclear membrane and cytoplasm. In stable transfectants over-expressing MLrgW the proportion of cells in G1 phase was significantly reduced, while in cells over-expressing MLrgS the proportion of cells in G2 was significantly increased; both proteins are thus potential regulators of cell cycle progression. Upregulation of MLrgW and MLrgS may be an important component of the LPS inflammatory pathway and of the host response to infection with GNB.

  2. Detailed Configuration of the Underthrusting Indian Lithosphere Beneath Western Tibet Revealed by Receiver Function Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qiang; Zhao, Junmeng; Yuan, Xiaohui; Liu, Hongbing; Pei, Shunping

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the teleseismic waveform data recorded by 42 temporary stations from the Y2 and ANTILOPE-1 arrays using the P and S receiver function techniques to investigate the lithospheric structure beneath western Tibet. The Moho is reliably identified as a prominent feature at depths of 55-82 km in the stacked traces and in depth migrated images. It has a concave shape and reaches the deepest location at about 80 km north of the Indus-Yarlung suture (IYS). An intracrustal discontinuity is observed at 55 km depth below the southern Lhasa terrane, which could represent the upper border of the eclogitized underthrusting Indian lower crust. Underthrusting of the Indian crust has been widely observed beneath the Lhasa terrane and correlates well with the Bouguer gravity low, suggesting that the gravity anomalies in the Lhasa terrane are induced by topography of the Moho. At 20 km depth, a midcrustal low-velocity zone (LVZ) is observed beneath the Tethyan Himalaya and southern Lhasa terrane, suggesting a layer of partial melts that decouples the thrust/fold deformation of the upper crust from the shortening and underthrusting in the lower crust. The Sp conversions at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) can be recognized at depths of 130-200 km, showing that the Indian lithospheric mantle is underthrusting with a ramp-flat shape beneath southern Tibet and probably is detached from the lower crust immediately under the IYS. Our observations reconstruct the configuration of the underthrusting Indian lithosphere and indicate significant along strike variations.

  3. Functional and evolutionary characterization of Ohr proteins in eukaryotes reveals many active homologs among pathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Meireles

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ohr and OsmC proteins comprise two subfamilies within a large group of proteins that display Cys-based, thiol dependent peroxidase activity. These proteins were previously thought to be restricted to prokaryotes, but we show here, using iterated sequence searches, that Ohr/OsmC homologs are also present in 217 species of eukaryotes with a massive presence in Fungi (186 species. Many of these eukaryotic Ohr proteins possess an N-terminal extension that is predicted to target them to mitochondria. We obtained recombinant proteins for four eukaryotic members of the Ohr/OsmC family and three of them displayed lipoyl peroxidase activity. Further functional and biochemical characterization of the Ohr homologs from the ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis Mf_1 (MfOhr, the causative agent of Black Sigatoka disease in banana plants, was pursued. Similarly to what has been observed for the bacterial proteins, we found that: (i the peroxidase activity of MfOhr was supported by DTT or dihydrolipoamide (dithiols, but not by β-mercaptoethanol or GSH (monothiols, even in large excess; (ii MfOhr displayed preference for organic hydroperoxides (CuOOH and tBOOH over hydrogen peroxide; (iii MfOhr presented extraordinary reactivity towards linoleic acid hydroperoxides (k=3.18 (±2.13×108 M−1 s−1. Both Cys87 and Cys154 were essential to the peroxidase activity, since single mutants for each Cys residue presented no activity and no formation of intramolecular disulfide bond upon treatment with hydroperoxides. The pKa value of the Cysp residue was determined as 5.7±0.1 by a monobromobimane alkylation method. Therefore, eukaryotic Ohr peroxidases share several biochemical features with prokaryotic orthologues and are preferentially located in mitochondria. Keywords: Ohr/OsmC, Thiol-dependent peroxidases, Phylogeny

  4. Functional and evolutionary characterization of Ohr proteins in eukaryotes reveals many active homologs among pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meireles, D A; Domingos, R M; Gaiarsa, J W; Ragnoni, E G; Bannitz-Fernandes, R; da Silva Neto, J F; de Souza, R F; Netto, L E S

    2017-08-01

    Ohr and OsmC proteins comprise two subfamilies within a large group of proteins that display Cys-based, thiol dependent peroxidase activity. These proteins were previously thought to be restricted to prokaryotes, but we show here, using iterated sequence searches, that Ohr/OsmC homologs are also present in 217 species of eukaryotes with a massive presence in Fungi (186 species). Many of these eukaryotic Ohr proteins possess an N-terminal extension that is predicted to target them to mitochondria. We obtained recombinant proteins for four eukaryotic members of the Ohr/OsmC family and three of them displayed lipoyl peroxidase activity. Further functional and biochemical characterization of the Ohr homologs from the ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis Mf_1 (MfOhr), the causative agent of Black Sigatoka disease in banana plants, was pursued. Similarly to what has been observed for the bacterial proteins, we found that: (i) the peroxidase activity of MfOhr was supported by DTT or dihydrolipoamide (dithiols), but not by β-mercaptoethanol or GSH (monothiols), even in large excess; (ii) MfOhr displayed preference for organic hydroperoxides (CuOOH and tBOOH) over hydrogen peroxide; (iii) MfOhr presented extraordinary reactivity towards linoleic acid hydroperoxides (k=3.18 (±2.13)×10 8 M -1 s -1 ). Both Cys 87 and Cys 154 were essential to the peroxidase activity, since single mutants for each Cys residue presented no activity and no formation of intramolecular disulfide bond upon treatment with hydroperoxides. The pK a value of the Cys p residue was determined as 5.7±0.1 by a monobromobimane alkylation method. Therefore, eukaryotic Ohr peroxidases share several biochemical features with prokaryotic orthologues and are preferentially located in mitochondria. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Functional characterisation of an intron retaining K+ transporter of barley reveals intron-mediated alternate splicing

    KAUST Repository

    Shahzad, K.

    2015-01-01

    Intron retention in transcripts and the presence of 5 and 3 splice sites within these introns mediate alternate splicing, which is widely observed in animals and plants. Here, functional characterisation of the K+ transporter, HvHKT2;1, with stably retained introns from barley (Hordeum vulgare) in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and transcript profiling in yeast and transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is presented. Expression of intron-retaining HvHKT2;1 cDNA (HvHKT2;1-i) in trk1, trk2 yeast strain defective in K+ uptake restored growth in medium containing hygromycin in the presence of different concentrations of K+ and mediated hypersensitivity to Na+. HvHKT2;1-i produces multiple transcripts via alternate splicing of two regular introns and three exons in different compositions. HKT isoforms with retained introns and exon skipping variants were detected in relative expression analysis of (i) HvHKT2;1-i in barley under native conditions, (ii) in transgenic tobacco plants constitutively expressing HvHKT2;1-i, and (iii) in trk1, trk2 yeast expressing HvHKT2;1-i under control of an inducible promoter. Mixed proportions of three HKT transcripts: HvHKT2;1-e (first exon region), HvHKT2;1-i1 (first intron) and HvHKT2;1-i2 (second intron) were observed. The variation in transcript accumulation in response to changing K+ and Na+ concentrations was observed in both heterologous and plant systems. These findings suggest a link between intron-retaining transcripts and different splice variants to ion homeostasis, and their possible role in salt stress.

  6. Transcriptomics of aged Drosophila motor neurons reveals a matrix metalloproteinase that impairs motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azpurua, Jorge; Mahoney, Rebekah E; Eaton, Benjamin A

    2018-04-01

    The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is responsible for transforming nervous system signals into motor behavior and locomotion. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, an age-dependent decline in motor function occurs, analogous to the decline experienced in mice, humans, and other mammals. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of this decline are still poorly understood. By specifically profiling the transcriptome of Drosophila motor neurons across age using custom microarrays, we found that the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase 1 (dMMP1) gene reproducibly increased in motor neurons in an age-dependent manner. Modulation of physiological aging also altered the rate of dMMP1 expression, validating dMMP1 expression as a bona fide aging biomarker for motor neurons. Temporally controlled overexpression of dMMP1 specifically in motor neurons was sufficient to induce deficits in climbing behavior and cause a decrease in neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses. These deficits were reversible if the dMMP1 expression was shut off again immediately after the onset of motor dysfunction. Additionally, repression of dMMP1 enzymatic activity via overexpression of a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases delayed the onset of age-dependent motor dysfunction. MMPs are required for proper tissue architecture during development. Our results support the idea that matrix metalloproteinase 1 is acting as a downstream effector of antagonistic pleiotropy in motor neurons and is necessary for proper development, but deleterious when reactivated at an advanced age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. RNA interference reveals allatotropin functioning in larvae and adults of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.T.E. Hassanien

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The allatotropin of S. frugiperda (Spofr-AT and its cDNA sequence were characterized 10 years ago, but no functional analyses of the peptide are available. Here we used the RNA interference technique to study the effects of Spofr-AT gene suppression on juvenile hormone (JH and ecdysteroid titers in the hemolymph of larvae, virgin and mated females, and of males. Spofr-AT gene silencing in last instar larvae resulted in an increase in the amount of JH III and 20-hydroxyecdysone in the hemolymph of the animals, corresponding to an acceleration of the prepupal commitment and transformation to the pupa. Mated females showed much higher JH titers in their hemolymph than virgins and laid almost twice the number of eggs. Spofr-AT gene silencing in freshly ecdysed females led to a further increase in egg production and oviposition, but had only a minor effect on the hemoylmph JH titer. Mated females contain considerable amounts of JH I and JH II in their hemoylmph, which are thought to be received from males during copulation. To confirm this hypothesis, we measured the amount of JH homologs in the male accessory reproductive glands (MARG before mating and in the bursa copulatrix (BC of the female after mating. MARG contained high amounts of JH I and JH II, which are transferred to the BC during copulation. One day after mating, JH disappeared from the BC and was then found in the hemolymph of the females. In conclusion, Spofr-AT acts as a true allatotropin in larvae and adults of both sexes of the armyworm.

  8. Audiovisual functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation reveals multisensory integration effects in object-related sensory cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doehrmann, Oliver; Weigelt, Sarah; Altmann, Christian F; Kaiser, Jochen; Naumer, Marcus J

    2010-03-03

    Information integration across different sensory modalities contributes to object recognition, the generation of associations and long-term memory representations. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation to investigate the presence of sensory integrative effects at cortical levels as early as nonprimary auditory and extrastriate visual cortices, which are implicated in intermediate stages of object processing. Stimulation consisted of an adapting audiovisual stimulus S(1) and a subsequent stimulus S(2) from the same basic-level category (e.g., cat). The stimuli were carefully balanced with respect to stimulus complexity and semantic congruency and presented in four experimental conditions: (1) the same image and vocalization for S(1) and S(2), (2) the same image and a different vocalization, (3) different images and the same vocalization, or (4) different images and vocalizations. This two-by-two factorial design allowed us to assess the contributions of auditory and visual stimulus repetitions and c