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196 Publications

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    05/01/20 | Neuronal upregulation of Prospero protein is driven by alternative mRNA polyadenylation and Syncrip-mediated mRNA stabilisation.
    Samuels TJ, Arava Y, Järvelin AI, Robertson F, Lee JY, Yang L, Yang C, Lee T, Ish-Horowicz D, Davis I
    Biology Open. 2020 May;9(5):. doi: 10.1242/bio.049684

    During and vertebrate brain development, the conserved transcription factor Prospero/Prox1 is an important regulator of the transition between proliferation and differentiation. Prospero level is low in neural stem cells and their immediate progeny, but is upregulated in larval neurons and it is unknown how this process is controlled. Here, we use single molecule fluorescent hybridisation to show that larval neurons selectively transcribe a long mRNA isoform containing a 15 kb 3' untranslated region, which is bound in the brain by the conserved RNA-binding protein Syncrip/hnRNPQ. Syncrip binding increases the mRNA stability of the long isoform, which allows an upregulation of Prospero protein production. Adult flies selectively lacking the long isoform show abnormal behaviour that could result from impaired locomotor or neurological activity. Our findings highlight a regulatory strategy involving alternative polyadenylation followed by differential post-transcriptional regulation.

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    05/01/20 | Ultrastructural visualization of 3D chromatin folding using volume electron microscopy and DNA in situ hybridization.
    Trzaskoma P, Ruszczycki B, Lee B, Pels KK, Krawczyk K, Bokota G, Szczepankiewicz AA, Aaron J, Walczak A, Śliwińska MA, Magalska A, Kadlof M, Wolny A, Parteka Z, Arabasz S, Kiss-Arabasz M, Plewczyński D, Ruan Y, Wilczyński GM
    Nature Communications. 2020 May 01;11(1):2120. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15987-2

    The human genome is extensively folded into 3-dimensional organization. However, the detailed 3D chromatin folding structures have not been fully visualized due to the lack of robust and ultra-resolution imaging capability. Here, we report the development of an electron microscopy method that combines serial block-face scanning electron microscopy with in situ hybridization (3D-EMISH) to visualize 3D chromatin folding at targeted genomic regions with ultra-resolution (5 × 5 × 30 nm in xyz dimensions) that is superior to the current super-resolution by fluorescence light microscopy. We apply 3D-EMISH to human lymphoblastoid cells at a 1.7 Mb segment of the genome and visualize a large number of distinctive 3D chromatin folding structures in ultra-resolution. We further quantitatively characterize the reconstituted chromatin folding structures by identifying sub-domains, and uncover a high level heterogeneity of chromatin folding ultrastructures in individual nuclei, suggestive of extensive dynamic fluidity in 3D chromatin states.

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    04/28/20 | A Sparse, Spatially Biased Subtype of Mature Granule Cell Dominates Recruitment in Hippocampal-Associated Behaviors.
    Erwin SR, Sun W, Copeland M, Lindo S, Spruston N, Cembrowski MS
    Cell Reports. 2020 Apr 28;31(4):107551. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107551

    Animals can store information about experiences by activating specific neuronal populations, and subsequent reactivation of these neural ensembles can lead to recall of salient experiences. In the hippocampus, granule cells of the dentate gyrus participate in such memory engrams; however, whether there is an underlying logic to granule cell participation has not been examined. Here, we find that a range of novel experiences preferentially activates granule cells of the suprapyramidal blade relative to the infrapyramidal blade. Motivated by this, we identify a suprapyramidal-blade-enriched population of granule cells with distinct spatial, morphological, physiological, and developmental properties. Via transcriptomics, we map these traits onto a sparse and discrete granule cell subtype that is recruited at a 10-fold greater frequency than expected by subtype prevalence, constituting the majority of all recruited granule cells. Thus, in behaviors known to involve hippocampal-dependent memory formation, a rare and spatially localized subtype dominates overall granule cell recruitment.

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    The brainstem contains several neuronal populations, heterogeneous in term of neurotransmitter/neuropeptide content, which are important for controlling various aspects of the REM phase of sleep. Among these populations are the Calbindin (Calb)-immunoreactive NPCalb neurons, located in the Nucleus papilio, within the dorsal paragigantocellular nucleus (DPGi), and recently shown to control eye movement during the REM phase of sleep. We performed in depth data-mining of the in-situ hybridization data collected at the Allen Brain Atlas, in order to identify potentially interesting genes expressed in this brainstem nucleus. Our attention focused on genes encoding neuropeptides, including Cart (Cocaine and Amphetamine Regulated Transcripts) and Nesfatin1. While Nesfatin1 appeared ubiquitously expressed in this Calb-positive neuronal population, Cart was co-expressed in only a subset of these glutamatergic NPCalb neurons. Furthermore, a REM sleep deprivation and rebound assay performed with mice revealed that the Cart-positive neuronal population within the DPGi was activated during REM sleep (as measured by c-fos immunoreactivity), suggesting a role of this neuropeptide in regulating some aspects of REM sleep. The assembled information could afford functional clues to investigators, conducive to further experimental pursuits.

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    04/27/20 | Live-cell single particle imaging reveals the role of RNA polymerase II in histone H2A.Z eviction.
    Ranjan A, Nguyen VQ, Liu S, Wisniewski J, Kim JM, Tang X, Mizuguchi G, Elalaoui E, Nickels TJ, Jou V, English BP, Zheng Q, Luk E, Lavis LD, Lionnet T, Wu C
    eLife. 2020 Apr 27;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55667

    The H2A.Z histone variant, a genome-wide hallmark of permissive chromatin, is enriched near transcription start sites in all eukaryotes. H2A.Z is deposited by the SWR1 chromatin remodeler and evicted by unclear mechanisms. We tracked H2A.Z in living yeast at single-molecule resolution, and found that H2A.Z eviction is dependent on RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) and the Kin28/Cdk7 kinase, which phosphorylates Serine 5 of heptapeptide repeats on the carboxy-terminal domain of the largest Pol II subunit Rpb1. These findings link H2A.Z eviction to transcription initiation, promoter escape and early elongation activities of Pol II. Because passage of Pol II through +1 nucleosomes genome-wide would obligate H2A.Z turnover, we propose that global transcription at yeast promoters is responsible for eviction of H2A.Z. Such usage of yeast Pol II suggests a general mechanism coupling eukaryotic transcription to erasure of the H2A.Z epigenetic signal.

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    04/23/20 | Frontline science: dynamic cellular and subcellular features of migrating leukocytes revealed by in vivo lattice lightsheet microscopy.
    Manley HR, Potter DL, Heddleston JM, Chew T, Keightley MC, Lieschke GJ
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2020 Apr 23:. doi: 10.1002/JLB.3HI0120-589R

    Neutrophil and macrophage (Mϕ) migration underpin the inflammatory response. However, the fast velocity, multidirectional instantaneous movement, and plastic, ever-changing shape of phagocytes confound high-resolution intravital imaging. Lattice lightsheet microscopy (LLSM) captures highly dynamic cell morphology at exceptional spatiotemporal resolution. We demonstrate the first extensive application of LLSM to leukocytes in vivo, utilizing optically transparent zebrafish, leukocyte-specific reporter lines that highlighted subcellular structure, and a wounding assay for leukocyte migration. LLSM revealed details of migrating leukocyte morphology, and permitted intricate, volumetric interrogation of highly dynamic activities within their native physiological setting. Very thin, recurrent uropod extensions must now be considered a characteristic feature of migrating neutrophils. LLSM resolved trailing uropod extensions, demonstrating their surprising length, and permitting quantitative assessment of cytoskeletal contributions to their evanescent form. Imaging leukocytes in blood vessel microenvironments at LLSM's spatiotemporal resolution displayed blood-flow-induced neutrophil dynamics and demonstrated unexpected leukocyte-endothelial interactions such as leukocyte-induced endothelial deformation against the intravascular pressure. LLSM of phagocytosis and cell death provided subcellular insights and uncovered novel behaviors. Collectively, we provide high-resolution LLSM examples of leukocyte structures (filopodia lamellipodia, uropod extensions, vesicles), and activities (interstitial and intravascular migration, leukocyte rolling, phagocytosis, cell death, and cytoplasmic ballooning). Application of LLSM to intravital leukocyte imaging sets the stage for transformative studies into the cellular and subcellular complexities of phagocyte biology.

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    Looger Lab
    04/17/20 | Temperature-dependent sex determination is mediated by pSTAT3 repression of Kdm6b..
    Weber C, Zhou Y, Lee JG, Looger LL, Qian G, Ge C, Capel B
    Science. 2020 Apr 17;368(6488):303-306. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz4165

    In many reptiles, including the red-eared slider turtle (), sex is determined by ambient temperature during embryogenesis. We previously showed that the epigenetic regulator is elevated at the male-producing temperature and essential to activate the male pathway. In this work, we established a causal link between temperature and transcriptional regulation of We show that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is phosphorylated at the warmer, female-producing temperature, binds the locus, and represses transcription, blocking the male pathway. Influx of Ca, a mediator of STAT3 phosphorylation, is elevated at the female temperature and acts as a temperature-sensitive regulator of STAT3 activation.

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    04/13/20 | The Mushroom Body: From Architecture to Algorithm in a Learning Circuit.
    Modi MN, Shuai Y, Turner GC
    Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2020 Apr 13:. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-080317-0621333

    The brain contains a relatively simple circuit for forming Pavlovian associations, yet it achieves many operations common across memory systems. Recent advances have established a clear framework for learning and revealed the following key operations: ) pattern separation, whereby dense combinatorial representations of odors are preprocessed to generate highly specific, nonoverlapping odor patterns used for learning; ) convergence, in which sensory information is funneled to a small set of output neurons that guide behavioral actions; ) plasticity, where changing the mapping of sensory input to behavioral output requires a strong reinforcement signal, which is also modulated by internal state and environmental context; and ) modularization, in which a memory consists of multiple parallel traces, which are distinct in stability and flexibility and exist in anatomically well-defined modules within the network. Cross-module interactions allow for higher-order effects where past experience influences future learning. Many of these operations have parallels with processes of memory formation and action selection in more complex brains. Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 43 is July 8, 2020. Please see for revised estimates.

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    04/07/20 | Conservation and divergence of related neuronal lineages in the central brain.
    Lee Y, Yang C, Miyares RL, Huang Y, He Y, Ren Q, Chen H, Kawase T, Ito M, Otsuna H, Sugino K, Aso Y, Ito K, Lee T
    eLife. 2020 Apr 07;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53518

    Wiring a complex brain requires many neurons with intricate cell specificity, generated by a limited number of neural stem cells. central brain lineages are a predetermined series of neurons, born in a specific order. To understand how lineage identity translates to neuron morphology, we mapped 18 central brain lineages. While we found large aggregate differences between lineages, we also discovered shared patterns of morphological diversification. Lineage identity plus Notch-mediated sister fate govern primary neuron trajectories, whereas temporal fate diversifies terminal elaborations. Further, morphological neuron types may arise repeatedly, interspersed with other types. Despite the complexity, related lineages produce similar neuron types in comparable temporal patterns. Different stem cells even yield two identical series of dopaminergic neuron types, but with unrelated sister neurons. Together, these phenomena suggest that straightforward rules drive incredible neuronal complexity, and that large changes in morphology can result from relatively simple fating mechanisms.

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    04/06/20 | Single-Cell Transcriptomes Reveal Diverse Regulatory Strategies for Olfactory Receptor Expression and Axon Targeting.
    Li H, Li T, Horns F, Li J, Xie Q, Xu C, Wu B, Kebschull JM, McLaughlin CN, Kolluru SS, Jones RC, Vacek D, Xie A, Luginbuhl DJ, Quake SR, Luo L
    Curr Biol. 04/2020;30(7):1189-1198.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.049

    The regulatory mechanisms by which neurons coordinate their physiology and connectivity are not well understood. The Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) provide an excellent system to investigate this question. Each ORN type expresses a unique olfactory receptor, or a combination thereof, and sends their axons to a stereotyped glomerulus. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we identified 33 transcriptomic clusters for ORNs and mapped 20 to their glomerular types, demonstrating that transcriptomic clusters correspond well with anatomically and physiologically defined ORN types. Each ORN type expresses hundreds of transcription factors. Transcriptome-instructed genetic analyses revealed that (1) one broadly expressed transcription factor (Acj6) only regulates olfactory receptor expression in one ORN type and only wiring specificity in another type, (2) one type-restricted transcription factor (Forkhead) only regulates receptor expression, and (3) another type-restricted transcription factor (Unplugged) regulates both events. Thus, ORNs utilize diverse strategies and complex regulatory networks to coordinate their physiology and connectivity.

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