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196 Publications

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    08/27/20 | Cortical RORβ is required for layer 4 transcriptional identity and barrel integrity.
    Clark EA, Rutlin M, Capano L, Aviles S, Saadon JR, Taneja P, Zhang Q, Bullis JB, Lauer T, Myers E, Schulmann A, Forrest D, Nelson SB
    eLife. 2020 Aug 27;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.52370

    Retinoic Acid-Related Orphan Receptor Beta (RORβ) is a transcription factor (TF) and marker of layer 4 (L4) neurons, which are distinctive both in transcriptional identity and the ability to form aggregates such as barrels in rodent somatosensory cortex. However, the relationship between transcriptional identity and L4 cytoarchitecture is largely unknown. We find RORβ is required in the cortex for L4 aggregation into barrels and thalamocortical afferent (TCA) segregation. Interestingly, barrel organization also degrades with age in wildtype mice. Loss of RORβ delays excitatory input and disrupts gene expression and chromatin accessibility, with down-regulation of L4 and up-regulation of L5 genes, suggesting a disruption in cellular specification. Expression and binding site accessibility change for many other TFs, including closure of neurodevelopmental TF binding sites and increased expression and binding capacity of activity-regulated TFs. Lastly, a putative target of RORβ, , is down-regulated without RORβ, and knock-out alone disrupts TCA organization in adult barrels.

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    08/20/20 | Rational design of bioavailable photosensitizers for manipulation and imaging of biological systems.
    Binns TC, Ayala AX, Grimm JB, Tkachuk AN, Castillon GA, Phan S, Zhang L, Brown TA, Liu Z, Adams SR, Ellisman MH, Koyama M, Lavis LD
    Cell Chemical Biology. 2020 Aug 20;27(8):1063-72. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2020.07.001

    Light-mediated chemical reactions are powerful methods for manipulating and interrogating biological systems. Photosensitizers, compounds that generate reactive oxygen species upon excitation with light, can be utilized for numerous biological experiments, but the repertoire of bioavailable photosensitizers is limited. Here, we describe the synthesis, characterization, and utility of two photosensitizers based upon the widely used rhodamine scaffold and demonstrate their efficacy for chromophore-assisted light inactivation, cell ablation in culture and in vivo, and photopolymerization of diaminobenzidine for electron microscopy. These chemical tools will facilitate a broad range of applications spanning from targeted destruction of proteins to high-resolution imaging.

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    08/17/20 | An enzymatic toolkit for selective proteolysis, detection, and visualization of mucin-domain glycoproteins
    Shon DJ, Malaker SA, Pedram K, Yang E, Krishnan V, Dorigo O, Bertozzi CR
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jan-09-2020;117(35):21299 - 21307. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2012196117

    Densely O-glycosylated mucin domains are found in a broad range of cell surface and secreted proteins, where they play key physiological roles. In addition, alterations in mucin expression and glycosylation are common in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases. These correlations have been challenging to uncover and establish because tools that specifically probe mucin domains are lacking. Here, we present a panel of bacterial proteases that cleave mucin domains via distinct peptide- and glycan-based motifs, generating a diverse enzymatic toolkit for mucin-selective proteolysis. By mutating catalytic residues of two such enzymes, we engineered mucin-selective binding agents with retained glycoform preferences. StcEE447D is a pan-mucin stain derived from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli that is tolerant to a wide range of glycoforms. BT4244E575A derived from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is selective for truncated, asialylated core 1 structures commonly associated with malignant and premalignant tissues. We demonstrated that these catalytically inactive point mutants enable robust detection and visualization of mucin-domain glycoproteins by flow cytometry, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Application of our enzymatic toolkit to ascites fluid and tissue slices from patients with ovarian cancer facilitated characterization of patients based on differences in mucin cleavage and expression patterns.


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    08/17/20 | Complete connectomic reconstruction of olfactory projection neurons in the fly brain.
    Bates AS, Schlegel P, Roberts RJ, Drummond N, Tamimi IF, Turnbull R, Zhao X, Marin EC, Popovici PD, Dhawan S, Jamasb A, Javier A, Serratosa Capdevila L, Li F, Rubin GM, Waddell S, Bock DD, Costa M, Jefferis GS
    Current Biology. 2020 Aug 17;30(16):3183-99. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.042

    Nervous systems contain sensory neurons, local neurons, projection neurons, and motor neurons. To understand how these building blocks form whole circuits, we must distil these broad classes into neuronal cell types and describe their network connectivity. Using an electron micrograph dataset for an entire Drosophila melanogaster brain, we reconstruct the first complete inventory of olfactory projections connecting the antennal lobe, the insect analog of the mammalian olfactory bulb, to higher-order brain regions in an adult animal brain. We then connect this inventory to extant data in the literature, providing synaptic-resolution "holotypes" both for heavily investigated and previously unknown cell types. Projection neurons are approximately twice as numerous as reported by light level studies; cell types are stereotyped, but not identical, in cell and synapse numbers between brain hemispheres. The lateral horn, the insect analog of the mammalian cortical amygdala, is the main target for this olfactory information and has been shown to guide innate behavior. Here, we find new connectivity motifs, including axo-axonic connectivity between projection neurons, feedback, and lateral inhibition of these axons by a large population of neurons, and the convergence of different inputs, including non-olfactory inputs and memory-related feedback onto third-order olfactory neurons. These features are less prominent in the mushroom body calyx, the insect analog of the mammalian piriform cortex and a center for associative memory. Our work provides a complete neuroanatomical platform for future studies of the adult Drosophila olfactory system.

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    08/17/20 | Connectomics analysis reveals first-, second-, and third-order thermosensory and hygrosensory neurons in the adult Drosophila brain.
    Marin EC, Büld L, Theiss M, Sarkissian T, Roberts RJ, Turnbull R, Tamimi IF, Pleijzier MW, Laursen WJ, Drummond N, Schlegel P, Bates AS, Li F, Landgraf M, Costa M, Bock DD, Garrity PA, Jefferis GS
    Current Biology. 2020 Aug 17;30(16):3167-82. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.028

    Animals exhibit innate and learned preferences for temperature and humidity-conditions critical for their survival and reproduction. Leveraging a whole-brain electron microscopy volume, we studied the adult Drosophila melanogaster circuitry associated with antennal thermo- and hygrosensory neurons. We have identified two new target glomeruli in the antennal lobe, in addition to the five known ones, and the ventroposterior projection neurons (VP PNs) that relay thermo- and hygrosensory information to higher brain centers, including the mushroom body and lateral horn, seats of learned and innate behavior. We present the first connectome of a thermo- and hygrosensory neuropil, the lateral accessory calyx (lACA), by reconstructing neurons downstream of heating- and cooling-responsive VP PNs. A few mushroom body-intrinsic neurons solely receive thermosensory input from the lACA, while most receive additional olfactory and thermo- and/or hygrosensory PN inputs. Furthermore, several classes of lACA-associated neurons form a local network with outputs to other brain neuropils, suggesting that the lACA serves as a hub for thermo- and hygrosensory circuitry. For example, DN1a neurons link thermosensory PNs in the lACA to the circadian clock via the accessory medulla. Finally, we survey strongly connected downstream partners of VP PNs across the protocerebrum; these include a descending neuron targeted by dry-responsive VP PNs, meaning that just two synapses might separate hygrosensory inputs from motor circuits. These data provide a comprehensive first- and second-order layer analysis of Drosophila thermo- and hygrosensory systems and an initial survey of third-order neurons that could directly modulate behavior.

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    08/17/20 | Input connectivity reveals additional heterogeneity of dopaminergic reinforcement in Drosophila
    Otto N, Pleijzier MW, Morgan IC, Edmondson-Stait AJ, Heinz KJ, Stark I, Dempsey G, Ito M, Kapoor I, Hsu J, Schlegel PM, Bates AS, Costa M, Ito K, Bock DD, Rubin GM, Jefferis GS, Waddell S
    Current Biology. 2020 Aug 17;30(16):3200-11

    Different types of Drosophila dopaminergic neurons (DANs) reinforce memories of unique valence and provide state-dependent motivational control [1]. Prior studies suggest that the compartment architecture of the mushroom body (MB) is the relevant resolution for distinct DAN functions [23]. Here we used a recent electron microscope volume of the fly brain [4] to reconstruct the fine anatomy of individual DANs within three MB compartments. We find the 20 DANs of the γ5 compartment, at least some of which provide reward teaching signals, can be clustered into 5 anatomical subtypes that innervate different regions within γ5. Reconstructing 821 upstream neurons reveals input selectivity, supporting the functional relevance of DAN sub-classification. Only one PAM-γ5 DAN subtype (γ5fb) receives direct recurrent input from γ5β’2a mushroom body output neurons (MBONs) and behavioral experiments distinguish a role for these DANs in memory revaluation from those reinforcing sugar memory. Other DAN subtypes receive major, and potentially reinforcing, inputs from putative gustatory interneurons or lateral horn neurons, which can also relay indirect feedback from the MB. We similarly reconstructed the single aversively reinforcing PPL1-γ1pedc DAN. The γ1pedc DAN inputs are mostly different to those of γ5 DANs and are clustered onto distinct branches of its dendritic tree, presumably separating its established roles in aversive reinforcement and appetitive motivation [56]. Additional tracing identified neurons that provide broad input to γ5, β’2a and γ1pedc DANs suggesting that distributed DAN populations can be coordinately regulated. These connectomic and behavioral analyses therefore reveal additional complexity of dopaminergic reinforcement circuits between and within MB compartments.

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    08/13/20 | Metabolic rate through the life-course: From the organism to the organelle.
    Seo AY, Speakman JR, Selman C
    Experimental Gerontology. 2020 Aug 13;140:111059. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111059
    08/12/20 | The wiring logic of an identified serotonergic neuron that spans sensory networks.
    Coates KE, Calle-Schuler SA, Helmick LM, Knotts VL, Martik BN, Salman F, Warner LT, Valla SV, Bock DD, Dacks AM
    Journal of Neuroscience. 2020 Aug 12;40(33):6309-27. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0552-20.2020

    Serotonergic neurons project widely throughout the brain to modulate diverse physiological and behavioral processes. However, a single cell resolution understanding of the connectivity of serotonergic neurons is currently lacking. Using a whole-brain EM dataset of a female , we comprehensively determine the wiring logic of a broadly projecting serotonergic neuron (the "CSDn") that spans several olfactory regions. Within the antennal lobe, the CSDn differentially innervates each glomerulus, yet surprisingly, this variability reflects a diverse set of presynaptic partners, rather than glomerulus-specific differences in synaptic output, which is predominately to local interneurons. Moreover, the CSDn has distinct connectivity relationships with specific local interneuron subtypes, suggesting that the CSDn influences distinct aspects of local network processing. Across olfactory regions, the CSDn has different patterns of connectivity, even having different connectivity with individual projection neurons that also span these regions. Whereas the CSDn targets inhibitory local neurons in the antennal lobe, the CSDn has more distributed connectivity in the LH, preferentially synapsing with principal neuron types based on transmitter content. Lastly, we identify individual novel synaptic partners associated with other sensory domains that provide strong, top-down input to the CSDn. Taken together, our study reveals the complex connectivity of serotonergic neurons which combine the integration of local and extrinsic synaptic input in a nuanced, region-specific manner.All sensory systems receive serotonergic modulatory input. However, a comprehensive understanding of the synaptic connectivity of individual serotonergic neurons is lacking. In this study, we use a whole-brain EM microscopy dataset to comprehensively determine the wiring logic of a broadly projecting serotonergic neuron in the olfactory system of Collectively, our study demonstrates at a single cell level, the complex connectivity of serotonergic neurons within their target networks, identifies specific cell classes heavily targeted for serotonergic modulation in the olfactory system, and reveals novel extrinsic neurons that provide strong input to this serotonergic system outside of the context of olfaction. Elucidating the connectivity logic of individual modulatory neurons provides a ground plan for the seemingly heterogeneous effects of modulatory systems.

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    08/06/20 | Cell types promoting goosebumps form a niche to regulate hair follicle stem cells.
    Shwartz Y, Gonzalez-Celeiro M, Chen C, Pasolli HA, Sheu S, Fan SM, Shamsi F, Assaad S, Lin ET, Zhang B, Tsai P, He M, Tseng Y, Lin S, Hsu Y
    Cell. 2020 Aug 6;182(3):578. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.031

    Piloerection (goosebumps) requires concerted actions of the hair follicle, the arrector pili muscle (APM), and the sympathetic nerve, providing a model to study interactions across epithelium, mesenchyme, and nerves. Here, we show that APMs and sympathetic nerves form a dual-component niche to modulate hair follicle stem cell (HFSC) activity. Sympathetic nerves form synapse-like structures with HFSCs and regulate HFSCs through norepinephrine, whereas APMs maintain sympathetic innervation to HFSCs. Without norepinephrine signaling, HFSCs enter deep quiescence by down-regulating the cell cycle and metabolism while up-regulating quiescence regulators Foxp1 and Fgf18. During development, HFSC progeny secretes Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) to direct the formation of this APM-sympathetic nerve niche, which in turn controls hair follicle regeneration in adults. Our results reveal a reciprocal interdependence between a regenerative tissue and its niche at different stages and demonstrate sympathetic nerves can modulate stem cells through synapse-like connections and neurotransmitters to couple tissue production with demands.

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    08/03/20 | Efficient coding of natural scene statistics predicts discrimination thresholds for grayscale textures.
    Tesileanu T, Conte MM, Briguglio JJ, Hermundstad AM, Victor JD, Balasubramanian V
    eLife. 2020 Aug 3;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.54347

    Previously, in (Hermundstad et al., 2014), we showed that when sampling is limiting, the efficient coding principle leads to a 'variance is salience' hypothesis, and that this hypothesis accounts for visual sensitivity to binary image statistics. Here, using extensive new psychophysical data and image analysis, we show that this hypothesis accounts for visual sensitivity to a large set of grayscale image statistics at a striking level of detail, and also identify the limits of the prediction. We define a 66-dimensional space of local grayscale light-intensity correlations, and measure the relevance of each direction to natural scenes. The 'variance is salience' hypothesis predicts that two-point correlations are most salient, and predicts their relative salience. We tested these predictions in a texture-segregation task using un-natural, synthetic textures. As predicted, correlations beyond second order are not salient, and predicted thresholds for over 300 second-order correlations match psychophysical thresholds closely (median fractional error < 0:13).

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