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196 Publications

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    03/09/20 | Basement Membrane Regulates Fibronectin Organization Using Sliding Focal Adhesions Driven by a Contractile Winch
    Jiaoyang Lu , Andrew D. Doyle , Yoshinari Shinsato , Shaohe Wang , Molly A. Bodendorfer , Minhua Zheng , Kenneth M. Yamada
    Developmental Cell. 03/2020;52:631-646.e4. doi:

    Summary We have discovered that basement membrane and its major components can induce rapid, strikingly robust fibronectin organization. In this new matrix assembly mechanism, α5β1 integrin-based focal adhesions slide actively on the underlying matrix toward the ventral cell center through the dynamic shortening of myosin IIA-associated actin stress fibers to drive rapid fibronectin fibrillogenesis distal to the adhesion. This mechanism contrasts with classical fibronectin assembly based on stable or fixed-position focal adhesions containing αVβ3 integrins plus α5β1 integrin translocation into proximal fibrillar adhesions. On basement membrane components, these sliding focal adhesions contain standard focal adhesion constituents but completely lack classical αVβ3 integrins. Instead, peripheral α3β1 or α2β1 adhesions mediate initial cell attachment but over time are switched to α5β1 integrin-based sliding focal adhesions to assemble fibronectin matrix. This basement-membrane-triggered mechanism produces rapid fibronectin fibrillogenesis, providing a mechanistic explanation for the well-known widespread accumulation of fibronectin at many organ basement membranes.

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    03/06/20 | A large genomic insertion containing a duplicated follistatin gene is linked to the pea aphid male wing dimorphism.
    Li B, Bickel RD, Parker BJ, Saleh Ziabari O, Liu F, Vellichirammal NN, Simon J, Stern DL, Brisson JA
    eLife. 2020 Mar 06;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50608

    Wing dimorphisms have long served as models for examining the ecological and evolutionary tradeoffs associated with alternative phenotypes. Here, we investigated the genetic cause of the pea aphid () male wing dimorphism, wherein males exhibit one of two morphologies that differ in correlated traits that include the presence or absence of wings. We mapped this trait difference to a single genomic region and, using third generation, long-read sequencing, we identified a 120 kb insertion in the wingless allele. This insertion includes a duplicated gene, which is a strong candidate gene in the minimal mapped interval to cause the dimorphism. We found that both alleles were present prior to pea aphid biotype lineage diversification, we estimated that the insertion occurred millions of years ago, and we propose that both alleles have been maintained in the species, likely due to balancing selection.

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    03/04/20 | Recurrent interactions in local cortical circuits.
    Peron S, Pancholi R, Voelcker B, Wittenbach JD, Ólafsdóttir HF, Freeman J, Svoboda K
    Nature. 2020 Mar 04;579(7798):256-59. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2062-x

    Most cortical synapses are local and excitatory. Local recurrent circuits could implement amplification, allowing pattern completion and other computations. Cortical circuits contain subnetworks that consist of neurons with similar receptive fields and increased connectivity relative to the network average. Cortical neurons that encode different types of information are spatially intermingled and distributed over large brain volumes, and this complexity has hindered attempts to probe the function of these subnetworks by perturbing them individually. Here we use computational modelling, optical recordings and manipulations to probe the function of recurrent coupling in layer 2/3 of the mouse vibrissal somatosensory cortex during active tactile discrimination. A neural circuit model of layer 2/3 revealed that recurrent excitation enhances sensory signals by amplification, but only for subnetworks with increased connectivity. Model networks with high amplification were sensitive to damage: loss of a few members of the subnetwork degraded stimulus encoding. We tested this prediction by mapping neuronal selectivity and photoablating neurons with specific selectivity. Ablation of a small proportion of layer 2/3 neurons (10-20, less than 5% of the total) representing touch markedly reduced responses in the spared touch representation, but not in other representations. Ablations most strongly affected neurons with stimulus responses that were similar to those of the ablated population, which is also consistent with network models. Recurrence among cortical neurons with similar selectivity therefore drives input-specific amplification during behaviour.

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    03/03/20 | Functional Diversity of Glycinergic Commissural Inhibitory Neurons in Larval Zebrafish
    Chie Satou , Takumi Sugioka , Yuto Uemura , Takashi Shimazaki , Pawel Zmarz , Yukiko Kimura , Shin-ichi Higashijima
    Cell Reports. 03/2020;30:3036-3050.e4. doi:

    Summary Commissural inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord of aquatic vertebrates coordinate left-right body alternation during swimming. Their developmental origin, however, has been elusive. We investigate this by comparing the anatomy and function of two commissural inhibitory neuron types, dI6dmrt3a and V0d, derived from the pd6 and p0 progenitor domains, respectively. We find that both of these commissural neuron types have monosynaptic, inhibitory connections to neuronal populations active during fictive swimming, supporting their role in providing inhibition to the contralateral side. V0d neurons tend to fire during faster and stronger movements, while dI6dmrt3a neurons tend to fire more consistently during normal fictive swimming. Ablation of dI6dmrt3a neurons leads to an impairment of left-right alternating activity through abnormal co-activation of ventral root neurons on both sides of the spinal cord. Our results suggest that dI6dmrt3a and V0d commissural inhibitory neurons synergistically provide inhibition to the opposite side across different swimming behaviors.

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    03/02/20 | Kilohertz two-photon fluorescence microscopy imaging of neural activity in vivo.
    Wu J, Liang Y, Chen S, Hsu C, Chavarha M, Evans SW, Shi D, Lin MZ, Tsia KK, Ji N
    Nature Methods. 2020 Mar 02;17(3):287-290. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-0762-7

    Understanding information processing in the brain requires monitoring neuronal activity at high spatiotemporal resolution. Using an ultrafast two-photon fluorescence microscope empowered by all-optical laser scanning, we imaged neuronal activity in vivo at up to 3,000 frames per second and submicrometer spatial resolution. This imaging method enabled monitoring of both supra- and subthreshold electrical activity down to 345 μm below the brain surface in head-fixed awake mice.

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    03/02/20 | Rapid mesoscale volumetric imaging of neural activity with synaptic resolution.
    Lu R, Liang Y, Meng G, Zhou P, Svoboda K, Paninski L, Ji N
    Nature Methods. 2020 Mar 02;17(3):291-4. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-0760-9

    Imaging neurons and neural circuits over large volumes at high speed and subcellular resolution is a difficult task. Incorporating a Bessel focus module into a two-photon fluorescence mesoscope, we achieved rapid volumetric imaging of neural activity over the mesoscale with synaptic resolution. We applied the technology to calcium imaging of entire dendritic spans of neurons as well as neural ensembles within multiple cortical regions over two hemispheres of the awake mouse brain.

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    03/01/20 | Characterization of the Genetic Architecture Underlying Eye Size Variation Within Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans.
    Gaspar P, Arif S, Sumner-Rooney L, Kittelmann M, Bodey AJ, Stern DL, Nunes MD, McGregor AP
    Genes|Genomes|Genetics. 2020 Mar 01;10(3):1005-18. doi: 10.1534/g3.119.400877
    03/01/20 | Toward nanoscale localization of memory engrams in Drosophila.
    Aso Y, Rubin GM
    Journal of Neurogenetics. 2020 Mar 01;34(1):151-55. doi: 10.1080/01677063.2020.1715973

    The Mushroom Body (MB) is the primary location of stored associative memories in the Drosophila brain. We discuss recent advances in understanding the MB's neuronal circuits made using advanced light microscopic methods and cell-type-specific genetic tools. We also review how the compartmentalized nature of the MB's organization allows this brain area to form and store memories with widely different dynamics.

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    03/02/20 | Neural circuitry linking mating and egg laying in Drosophila females.
    Wang F, Wang K, Forknall N, Patrick C, Yang T, Parekh R, Bock D, Dickson BJ
    Nature. 2020 Mar 02;579(7797):101-105. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2055-9

    Mating and egg laying are tightly cooordinated events in the reproductive life of all oviparous females. Oviposition is typically rare in virgin females but is initiated after copulation. Here we identify the neural circuitry that links egg laying to mating status in Drosophila melanogaster. Activation of female-specific oviposition descending neurons (oviDNs) is necessary and sufficient for egg laying, and is equally potent in virgin and mated females. After mating, sex peptide-a protein from the male seminal fluid-triggers many behavioural and physiological changes in the female, including the onset of egg laying. Sex peptide is detected by sensory neurons in the uterus, and silences these neurons and their postsynaptic ascending neurons in the abdominal ganglion. We show that these abdominal ganglion neurons directly activate the female-specific pC1 neurons. GABAergic (γ-aminobutyric-acid-releasing) oviposition inhibitory neurons (oviINs) mediate feed-forward inhibition from pC1 neurons to both oviDNs and their major excitatory input, the oviposition excitatory neurons (oviENs). By attenuating the abdominal ganglion inputs to pC1 neurons and oviINs, sex peptide disinhibits oviDNs to enable egg laying after mating. This circuitry thus coordinates the two key events in female reproduction: mating and egg laying.

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    02/26/20 | Nicotine exposure and neuronal activity regulate Golgi membrane dispersal and distribution
    Govind AP, Jeyifous O, Russell TA, Vaasjo LO, Yi Z, Weigel AV, Newell L, Koranda JL, Singh K, Valbuena F, Glick BS, Mukherjee J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Zhuang X, Green WN
    bioRxiv. 2020 Feb 26:

    How nicotine exposure produces long-lasting changes that remodel neural circuits with addiction is unknown. Here, we report that long-term nicotine exposure alters the trafficking of α4β2-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α4β2Rs) by dispersing and redistributing the Golgi apparatus. In cultured neurons, dispersed Golgi membranes were distributed throughout somata, dendrites and axons. Small, mobile vesicles in dendrites and axons lacked standard Golgi markers and were identified by other Golgi enzymes that modify glycans. Nicotine exposure increased levels of dispersed Golgi membranes, which required α4β2R expression. Similar nicotine-induced changes occurred in vivo at dopaminergic neurons at mouse nucleus accumbens terminals, consistent with these events contributing to nicotine’s addictive effects. Characterization in vitro demonstrated that dispersal was reversible, that dispersed Golgi membranes were functional, and that membranes were heterogenous in size, with smaller vesicles emerging from larger “ministacks”, similar to Golgi dispersal induced by nocadazole. Protocols that increased cultured neuronal synaptic excitability also increased Golgi dispersal, without the requirement of α4β2R expression. Our findings reveal novel activity- and nicotine-dependent changes in neuronal intracellular morphology. These changes regulate levels and location of dispersed Golgi membranes at dendrites and axons, which function in local trafficking at subdomains.

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