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236 Publications

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    Zuker Lab
    08/05/14 | Population of sensory neurons essential for asthmatic hyperreactivity of inflamed airways.
    Tränkner D, Hahne N, Sugino K, Hoon MA, Zuker C
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2014 Aug 5;111(31):11515-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411032111

    Asthma is a common debilitating inflammatory lung disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Here, we investigated neurogenic components involved in asthmatic-like attacks using the ovalbumin-sensitized murine model of the disease, and identified a specific population of neurons that are required for airway hyperreactivity. We show that ablating or genetically silencing these neurons abolished the hyperreactive broncho-constrictions, even in the presence of a fully developed lung inflammatory immune response. These neurons are found in the vagal ganglia and are characterized by the expression of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel. However, the TRPV1 channel itself is not required for the asthmatic-like hyperreactive airway response. We also demonstrate that optogenetic stimulation of this population of TRP-expressing cells with channelrhodopsin dramatically exacerbates airway hyperreactivity of inflamed airways. Notably, these cells express the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (S1PR3), and stimulation with a S1PR3 agonist efficiently induced broncho-constrictions, even in the absence of ovalbumin sensitization and inflammation. Our results show that the airway hyperreactivity phenotype can be physiologically dissociated from the immune component, and provide a platform for devising therapeutic approaches to asthma that target these pathways separately.

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    Gonen Lab
    08/04/14 | Proton-coupled sugar transport in the prototypical major facilitator superfamily protein XylE.
    Wisedchaisri G, Park M, Iadanza MG, Zheng H, Gonen T
    Nature Communication. 2014 - Aug;5:4521. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5521

    The major facilitator superfamily (MFS) is the largest collection of structurally related membrane proteins that transport a wide array of substrates. The proton-coupled sugar transporter XylE is the first member of the MFS that has been structurally characterized in multiple transporting conformations, including both the outward and inward-facing states. Here we report the crystal structure of XylE in a new inward-facing open conformation, allowing us to visualize the rocker-switch movement of the N-domain against the C-domain during the transport cycle. Using molecular dynamics simulation, and functional transport assays, we describe the movement of XylE that facilitates sugar translocation across a lipid membrane and identify the likely candidate proton-coupling residues as the conserved Asp27 and Arg133. This study addresses the structural basis for proton-coupled substrate transport and release mechanism for the sugar porter family of proteins.

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    Looger Lab
    08/01/14 | Combined protein- and nucleic acid-level effects of rs1143679 (R77H), a lupus-predisposing variant within ITGAM.
    Maiti AK, Kim-Howard X, Motghare P, Pradhan V, Chua KH, Sun C, Arango-Guerrero MT, Ghosh K, Niewold TB, Harley JB, Anaya J, Looger LL, Nath SK
    Human Molecular Genetics. 2014 Aug 1;23(15):4161-76. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu106

    Integrin alpha M (ITGAM; CD11b) is a component of the macrophage-1 antigen complex, which mediates leukocyte adhesion, migration and phagocytosis as part of the immune system. We previously identified a missense polymorphism, rs1143679 (R77H), strongly associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the molecular mechanisms of this variant are incompletely understood. A meta-analysis of published and novel data on 28 439 individuals with European, African, Hispanic and Asian ancestries reinforces genetic association between rs1143679 and SLE [Pmeta = 3.60 × 10(-90), odds ratio (OR) = 1.76]. Since rs1143679 is in the most active region of chromatin regulation and transcription factor binding in ITGAM, we quantitated ITGAM RNA and surface protein levels in monocytes from patients with each rs1143679 genotype. We observed that transcript levels significantly decreased for the risk allele ('A') relative to the non-risk allele ('G'), in a dose-dependent fashion: ('AA' < 'AG' < 'GG'). CD11b protein levels in patients' monocytes were directly correlated with RNA levels. Strikingly, heterozygous individuals express much lower (average 10- to 15-fold reduction) amounts of the 'A' transcript than 'G' transcript. We found that the non-risk sequence surrounding rs1143679 exhibits transcriptional enhancer activity in vivo and binds to Ku70/80, NFKB1 and EBF1 in vitro, functions that are significantly reduced with the risk allele. Mutant CD11b protein shows significantly reduced binding to fibrinogen and vitronectin, relative to non-risk, both in purified protein and in cellular models. This two-pronged contribution (nucleic acid- and protein-level) of the rs1143679 risk allele to decreasing ITGAM activity provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of its potent association with SLE.

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    Gonen Lab
    08/01/14 | Editorial overview: Membranes: recent methods in the study of membrane protein structure.
    Gonen T, Waksman G
    Current Opinion in Structural Biology. 2014 Aug;27:iv-v. doi: 10.1016/
    08/01/08 | Porphyrins and Metalloporphyrins at Components in Artificial Photosynthesis Research
    Tebo AG, Herrero C, Aukauloo A, Kadish KM, Smith KM, undefined , Guilard R
    Handbook of Porphyrin Science;34:196 – 233. doi: 10.1142/9789814417297_0016
    07/31/14 | ER stress-induced clearance of misfolded GPI-anchored proteins via the secretory pathway.
    Satpute-Krishnan P, Ajinkya M, Bhat S, Itakura E, Hegde RS, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Cell. 2014 Jul 31;158(3):522-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.026

    Proteins destined for the cell surface are first assessed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for proper folding before release into the secretory pathway. This ensures that defective proteins are normally prevented from entering the extracellular environment, where they could be disruptive. Here, we report that, when ER folding capacity is saturated during stress, misfolded glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins dissociate from resident ER chaperones, engage export receptors, and quantitatively leave the ER via vesicular transport to the Golgi. Clearance from the ER commences within minutes of acute ER stress, before the transcriptional component of the unfolded protein response is activated. These aberrant proteins then access the cell surface transiently before destruction in lysosomes. Inhibiting this stress-induced pathway by depleting the ER-export receptors leads to aggregation of the ER-retained misfolded protein. Thus, this rapid response alleviates the elevated burden of misfolded proteins in the ER at the onset of ER stress, promoting protein homeostasis in the ER.

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    Cui Lab
    07/29/14 | A self-adaptive method for creating high efficiency communication channels through random scattering media.
    Hao X, Martin-Rouault L, Cui M
    Science Reports. 2014 Jul 29;4:5874. doi: 10.1038/srep05874

    Controlling the propagation of electromagnetic waves is important to a broad range of applications. Recent advances in controlling wave propagation in random scattering media have enabled optical focusing and imaging inside random scattering media. In this work, we propose and demonstrate a new method to deliver optical power more efficiently through scattering media. Drastically different from the random matrix characterization approach, our method can rapidly establish high efficiency communication channels using just a few measurements, regardless of the number of optical modes, and provides a practical and robust solution to boost the signal levels in optical or short wave communications. We experimentally demonstrated analog and digital signal transmission through highly scattering media with greatly improved performance. Besides scattering, our method can also reduce the loss of signal due to absorption. Experimentally, we observed that our method forced light to go around absorbers, leading to even higher signal improvement than in the case of purely scattering media. Interestingly, the resulting signal improvement is highly directional, which provides a new means against eavesdropping.

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    07/29/14 | Automated image-based tracking and its application in ecology.
    Dell AI, Bender JA, Branson K, Couzin ID, de Polavieja GG, Noldus LP, Pérez-Escudero A, Perona P, Straw AD, Wikelski M, Brose U
    Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 2014 Jul;29(7):417-428. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.05.004

    The behavior of individuals determines the strength and outcome of ecological interactions, which drive population, community, and ecosystem organization. Bio-logging, such as telemetry and animal-borne imaging, provides essential individual viewpoints, tracks, and life histories, but requires capture of individuals and is often impractical to scale. Recent developments in automated image-based tracking offers opportunities to remotely quantify and understand individual behavior at scales and resolutions not previously possible, providing an essential supplement to other tracking methodologies in ecology. Automated image-based tracking should continue to advance the field of ecology by enabling better understanding of the linkages between individual and higher-level ecological processes, via high-throughput quantitative analysis of complex ecological patterns and processes across scales, including analysis of environmental drivers.

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    Looger LabLavis Lab
    07/29/14 | Integrated action of pheromone signals in promoting courtship behavior in male mice.
    Haga-Yamanaka S, Ma L, He J, Qiu Q, Lavis LD, Looger LL, Yu CR
    eLife. 2014 Jul 29;3:e03025. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03025

    The mammalian vomeronasal organ encodes pheromone information about gender, reproductive status, genetic background and individual differences. It remains unknown how pheromone information interacts to trigger innate behaviors. In this study, we identify vomeronasal receptors responsible for detecting female pheromones. A sub-group of V1re clade members recognizes gender-identifying cues in female urine. Multiple members of the V1rj clade are cognate receptors for urinary estrus signals, as well as for sulfated estrogen (SE) compounds. In both cases, the same cue activates multiple homologous receptors, suggesting redundancy in encoding female pheromone cues. Neither gender-specific cues nor SEs alone are sufficient to promote courtship behavior in male mice, whereas robust courtship behavior can be induced when the two cues are applied together. Thus, integrated action of different female cues is required in pheromone-triggered mating behavior. These results suggest a gating mechanism in the vomeronasal circuit in promoting specific innate behavior.DOI:

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    Ahrens LabLooger LabKeller LabFreeman Lab
    07/27/14 | Light-sheet functional imaging in fictively behaving zebrafish.
    Vladimirov N, Mu Y, Kawashima T, Bennett DV, Yang C, Looger LL, Keller PJ, Freeman J, Ahrens MB
    Nature Methods. 2014 Jul 27;11(9):883-4. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3040

    The processing of sensory input and the generation of behavior involves large networks of neurons, which necessitates new technology for recording from many neurons in behaving animals. In the larval zebrafish, light-sheet microscopy can be used to record the activity of almost all neurons in the brain simultaneously at single-cell resolution. Existing implementations, however, cannot be combined with visually driven behavior because the light sheet scans over the eye, interfering with presentation of controlled visual stimuli. Here we describe a system that overcomes the confounding eye stimulation through the use of two light sheets and combines whole-brain light-sheet imaging with virtual reality for fictively behaving larval zebrafish.

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