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202 Publications

Showing 11-20 of 202 results
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    12/13/22 | Long-term imaging reveals behavioral plasticity during C. elegans dauer exit
    Friedrich Preusser , Anika Neuschulz , Jan Philipp Junker , Nikolaus Rajewsky , Stephan Preibisch
    BMC Biology. 2022 Dec 13;20(1):277. doi: 10.1186/s12915-022-01471-4

    During their lifetime, animals must adapt their behavior to survive in changing environments. This ability requires the nervous system to adjust through dynamic expression of neurotransmitters and receptors but also through growth, spatial reorganization and connectivity while integrating external stimuli. For instance, despite having a fixed neuronal cell lineage, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans’ nervous system remains plastic throughout its development. Here, we focus on a specific example of nervous system plasticity, the C. elegans dauer exit decision. Under unfavorable conditions, larvae will enter the non-feeding and non-reproductive dauer stage and adapt their behavior to cope with a new environment. Upon improved conditions, this stress resistant developmental stage is actively reversed to resume reproductive development. However, how different environmental stimuli regulate the exit decision mechanism and thereby drive the larva’s behavioral change is unknown. To fill this gap, we developed a new open hardware method for long-term imaging (12h) of C. elegans larvae. We identified dauer-specific behavioral motifs and characterized the behavioral trajectory of dauer exit in different environments to identify key decision points. Combining long-term behavioral imaging with transcriptomics, we find that bacterial ingestion triggers a change in neuropeptide gene expression to establish post-dauer behavior. Taken together, we show how a developing nervous system can robustly integrate environmental changes, activate a developmental switch and adapt the organism’s behavior to a new environment.

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    12/09/22 | Exact learning dynamics of deep linear networks with prior knowledge
    Lukas Braun , Clémentine Dominé , James Fitzgerald , Andrew Saxe
    Neural Information Processing Systems:

    Learning in deep neural networks is known to depend critically on the knowledge embedded in the initial network weights. However, few theoretical results have precisely linked prior knowledge to learning dynamics. Here we derive exact solutions to the dynamics of learning with rich prior knowledge in deep linear networks by generalising Fukumizu's matrix Riccati solution \citep{fukumizu1998effect}. We obtain explicit expressions for the evolving network function, hidden representational similarity, and neural tangent kernel over training for a broad class of initialisations and tasks. The expressions reveal a class of task-independent initialisations that radically alter learning dynamics from slow non-linear dynamics to fast exponential trajectories while converging to a global optimum with identical representational similarity, dissociating learning trajectories from the structure of initial internal representations. We characterise how network weights dynamically align with task structure, rigorously justifying why previous solutions successfully described learning from small initial weights without incorporating their fine-scale structure. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings for continual learning, reversal learning and learning of structured knowledge. Taken together, our results provide a mathematical toolkit for understanding the impact of prior knowledge on deep learning.

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    12/04/22 | Organelle proteomic profiling reveals lysosomal heterogeneity in association with longevity
    Yong Yu , Shihong M. Gao , Youchen Guan , Pei-Wen Hu , Qinghao Zhang , Jiaming Liu , Bentian Jing , Qian Zhao , David M Sabatini , Monther Abu-Remaileh , Sung Yun Jung , Meng C. Wang
    bioRxiv. 2022 Dec 04:. doi: 10.1101/2022.10.16.512400

    Lysosomes are active sites to integrate cellular metabolism and signal transduction. A collection of proteins enriched at lysosomes mediate these metabolic and signaling functions. Both lysosomal metabolism and lysosomal signaling have been linked with longevity regulation; however, how lysosomes adjust their protein composition to accommodate this regulation remains unclear. Using large-scale proteomic profiling, we systemically profiled lysosome- enriched proteomes in association with different longevity mechanisms. We further discovered the lysosomal recruitment of AMPK and nucleoporin proteins and their requirements for longevity in response to increased lysosomal lipolysis. Through comparative proteomic analyses of lysosomes from different tissues and labeled with different markers, we discovered lysosomal heterogeneity across tissues as well as the specific enrichment of the Ragulator complex on Cystinosin positive lysosomes. Together, this work uncovers lysosomal proteome heterogeneity at different levels and provides resources for understanding the contribution of lysosomal proteome dynamics in modulating signal transduction, organelle crosstalk and organism longevity.

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    12/02/22 | Hippocampal representations of foraging trajectories depend upon spatial context.
    Jiang W, Xu S, Dudman JT
    Nature Neuroscience. 2022 Dec 02;25(12):1693-1705. doi: 10.1038/s41593-022-01201-7

    Animals learn trajectories to rewards in both spatial, navigational contexts and relational, non-navigational contexts. Synchronous reactivation of hippocampal activity is thought to be critical for recall and evaluation of trajectories for learning. Do hippocampal representations differentially contribute to experience-dependent learning of trajectories across spatial and relational contexts? In this study, we trained mice to navigate to a hidden target in a physical arena or manipulate a joystick to a virtual target to collect delayed rewards. In a navigational context, calcium imaging in freely moving mice revealed that synchronous CA1 reactivation was retrospective and important for evaluation of prior navigational trajectories. In a non-navigational context, reactivation was prospective and important for initiation of joystick trajectories, even in the same animals trained in both contexts. Adaptation of trajectories to a new target was well-explained by a common learning algorithm in which hippocampal activity makes dissociable contributions to reinforcement learning computations depending upon spatial context.

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    Singer Lab
    12/01/22 | Inhibition of coronavirus HCoV-OC43 by targeting the eIF4F complex.
    Feng Y, Grotegut S, Jovanovic P, Gandin V, Olson SH, Murad R, Beall A, Colayco S, De-Jesus P, Chanda S, English BP, Singer RH, Jackson M, Topisirovic I, Ronai ZA
    Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2022 Dec 01;13:1029093. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.1029093

    The translation initiation complex 4F (eIF4F) is a rate-limiting factor in protein synthesis. Alterations in eIF4F activity are linked to several diseases, including cancer and infectious diseases. To this end, coronaviruses require eIF4F complex activity to produce proteins essential for their life cycle. Efforts to target coronaviruses by abrogating translation have been largely limited to repurposing existing eIF4F complex inhibitors. Here, we report the results of a high throughput screen to identify small molecules that disrupt eIF4F complex formation and inhibit coronavirus RNA and protein levels. Of 338,000 small molecules screened for inhibition of the eIF4F-driven, CAP-dependent translation, we identified SBI-1232 and two structurally related analogs, SBI-5844 and SBI-0498, that inhibit human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43; OC43) with minimal cell toxicity. Notably, gene expression changes after OC43 infection of Vero E6 or A549 cells were effectively reverted upon treatment with SBI-5844 or SBI-0498. Moreover, SBI-5844 or SBI-0498 treatment effectively impeded the eIF4F complex assembly, with concomitant inhibition of newly synthesized OC43 nucleocapsid protein and OC43 RNA and protein levels. Overall, we identify SBI-5844 and SBI-0498 as small molecules targeting the eIF4F complex that may limit coronavirus transcripts and proteins, thereby representing a basis for developing novel therapeutic modalities against coronaviruses.

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    12/01/22 | Practical considerations for quantitative light sheet fluorescence microscopy.
    Hobson CM, Guo M, Vishwasrao HD, Wu Y, Shroff H, Chew T
    Nature Methods. 2022 Dec 01;19(12):1538-49. doi: 10.1038/s41592-022-01632-x

    Fluorescence microscopy has evolved from a purely observational tool to a platform for quantitative, hypothesis-driven research. As such, the demand for faster and less phototoxic imaging modalities has spurred a rapid growth in light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM). By restricting the excitation to a thin plane, LSFM reduces the overall light dose to a specimen while simultaneously improving image contrast. However, the defining characteristics of light sheet microscopes subsequently warrant unique considerations in their use for quantitative experiments. In this Perspective, we outline many of the pitfalls in LSFM that can compromise analysis and confound interpretation. Moreover, we offer guidance in addressing these caveats when possible. In doing so, we hope to provide a useful resource for life scientists seeking to adopt LSFM to quantitatively address complex biological hypotheses.

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    11/29/22 | From primordial clocks to circadian oscillators
    Warintra Pitsawong , Ricardo A. P. Pádua , Timothy Grant , Marc Hoemberger , Renee Otten , Niels Bradshaw , Nikolaus Grigorieff , Dorothee Kern
    bioRxiv. 2022 Nov 29:. doi: 10.1101/2022.11.28.518275

    Circadian rhythms play an essential role in many biological processes and surprisingly only three prokaryotic proteins are required to constitute a true post-translational circadian oscillator. The evolutionary history of the three Kai proteins indicates that KaiC is the oldest member and central component of the clock, with subsequent additions of KaiB and KaiA to regulate its phosphorylation state for time synchronization. The canonical KaiABC system in cyanobacteria is well understood, but little is known about more ancient systems that possess just KaiBC, except for reports that they might exhibit a basic, hourglass-like timekeeping mechanism. Here, we investigate the primordial circadian clock in Rhodobacter sphaeroides (RS) that contains only KaiBC to elucidate its inner workings despite the missing KaiA. Using a combination X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM we find a novel dodecameric fold for KaiCRS where two hexamers are held together by a coiled-coil bundle of 12 helices. This interaction is formed by the C-terminal extension of KaiCRS and serves as an ancient regulatory moiety later superseded by KaiA. A coiled-coil register shift between daytime- and nighttime-conformations is connected to the phosphorylation sites through a long-range allosteric network that spans over 160 Å. Our kinetic data identify the difference in ATP-to-ADP ratio between day and night as the environmental cue that drives the clock and further unravels mechanistic details that shed light on the evolution of self-sustained oscillators.

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    11/29/22 | Oligodendrocyte precursor cells ingest axons in the mouse neocortex.
    Buchanan J, Elabbady L, Collman F, Jorstad NL, Bakken TE, Ott C, Glatzer J, Bleckert AA, Bodor AL, Brittain D, Bumbarger DJ, Mahalingam G, Seshamani S, Schneider-Mizell C, Takeno MM, Torres R, Yin W, Hodge RD, Castro M, Dorkenwald S, Ih D, Jordan CS, Kemnitz N, Lee K, Lu R, Macrina T, Mu S, Popovych S, Silversmith WM, Tartavull I, Turner NL, Wilson AM, Wong W, Wu J, Zlateski A, Zung J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Lein ES, Seung HS, Bergles DE, Reid RC, da Costa NM
    Proceedings of the National Academies of Science of the U.S.A.. 2022 Nov 29;119(48):e2202580119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2202580119

    Neurons in the developing brain undergo extensive structural refinement as nascent circuits adopt their mature form. This physical transformation of neurons is facilitated by the engulfment and degradation of axonal branches and synapses by surrounding glial cells, including microglia and astrocytes. However, the small size of phagocytic organelles and the complex, highly ramified morphology of glia have made it difficult to define the contribution of these and other glial cell types to this crucial process. Here, we used large-scale, serial section transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with computational volume segmentation to reconstruct the complete 3D morphologies of distinct glial types in the mouse visual cortex, providing unprecedented resolution of their morphology and composition. Unexpectedly, we discovered that the fine processes of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), a population of abundant, highly dynamic glial progenitors, frequently surrounded small branches of axons. Numerous phagosomes and phagolysosomes (PLs) containing fragments of axons and vesicular structures were present inside their processes, suggesting that OPCs engage in axon pruning. Single-nucleus RNA sequencing from the developing mouse cortex revealed that OPCs express key phagocytic genes at this stage, as well as neuronal transcripts, consistent with active axon engulfment. Although microglia are thought to be responsible for the majority of synaptic pruning and structural refinement, PLs were ten times more abundant in OPCs than in microglia at this stage, and these structures were markedly less abundant in newly generated oligodendrocytes, suggesting that OPCs contribute substantially to the refinement of neuronal circuits during cortical development.

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    11/25/22 | SMP30-mediated synthesis of vitamin C activates the liver PPARα/FGF21 axis to regulate thermogenesis in mice.
    Lee B, An HJ, Kim DH, Lee M, Jeong HH, Chung KW, Go Y, Seo AY, Kim IY, Seong JK, Yu BP, Lee J, Im E, Lee I, Lee M, Yamada K, Chung HY
    Experimental and Molecular Medicine. 2022 Nov 25;54(11):2036-2046. doi: 10.1038/s12276-022-00888-9

    The vitamin-C-synthesizing enzyme senescent marker protein 30 (SMP30) is a cold resistance gene in Drosophila, and vitamin C concentration increases in brown adipose tissue post-cold exposure. However, the roles of SMP30 in thermogenesis are unknown. Here, we tested the molecular mechanism of thermogenesis using wild-type (WT) and vitamin C-deficient SMP30-knockout (KO) mice. SMP30-KO mice gained more weight than WT mice without a change in food intake in response to short-term high-fat diet feeding. Indirect calorimetry and cold-challenge experiments indicated that energy expenditure is lower in SMP30-KO mice, which is associated with decreased thermogenesis in adipose tissues. Therefore, SMP30-KO mice do not lose weight during cold exposure, whereas WT mice lose weight markedly. Mechanistically, the levels of serum FGF21 were notably lower in SMP30-KO mice, and vitamin C supplementation in SMP30-KO mice recovered FGF21 expression and thermogenesis, with a marked reduction in body weight during cold exposure. Further experiments revealed that vitamin C activates PPARα to upregulate FGF21. Our findings demonstrate that SMP30-mediated synthesis of vitamin C activates the PPARα/FGF21 axis, contributing to the maintenance of thermogenesis in mice.

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    Looger Lab
    11/24/22 | Ketamine triggers a switch in excitatory neuronal activity across neocortex.
    Cichon J, Wasilczuk AZ, Looger LL, Contreras D, Kelz MB, Proekt A
    Nature Neuroscience. 2022 Nov 24:. doi: 10.1038/s41593-022-01203-5

    The brain can become transiently disconnected from the environment while maintaining vivid, internally generated experiences. This so-called 'dissociated state' can occur in pathological conditions and under the influence of psychedelics or the anesthetic ketamine (KET). The cellular and circuit mechanisms producing the dissociative state remain poorly understood. We show in mice that KET causes spontaneously active neurons to become suppressed while previously silent neurons become spontaneously activated. This switch occurs in all cortical layers and different cortical regions, is induced by both systemic and cortical application of KET and is mediated by suppression of parvalbumin and somatostatin interneuron activity and inhibition of NMDA receptors and HCN channels. Combined, our results reveal two largely non-overlapping cortical neuronal populations-one engaged in wakefulness, the other contributing to the KET-induced brain state-and may lay the foundation for understanding how the brain might become disconnected from the surrounding environment while maintaining internal subjective experiences.

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