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194 Publications

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    01/06/22 | SUMOylation of linker histone H1 drives chromatin condensation and restriction of embryonic cell fate identity
    Daoud Sheban , Tom Shani , Roey Maor , Alejandro Aguilera-Castrejon , Nofar Mor , Bernardo Oldak , Merav D. Shmueli , Avital Eisenberg-Lerner , Jonathan Bayerl , Jakob Hebert , Sergey Viukov , Guoyun Chen , Assaf Kacen , Vladislav Krupalnik , Valeriya Chugaeva , Shadi Tarazi , Alejandra Rodríguez-delaRosa , Mirie Zerbib , Adi Ulman , Solaiman Masarwi , Meital Kupervaser , Yishai Levin , Efrat Shema , Yael David , Noa Novershtern , Jacob H. Hanna , Yifat Merbl
    Molecular Cell. 01/2022;82:106-122.e9. doi:

    Summary The fidelity of the early embryonic program is underlined by tight regulation of the chromatin. Yet, how the chromatin is organized to prohibit the reversal of the developmental program remains unclear. Specifically, the totipotency-to-pluripotency transition marks one of the most dramatic events to the chromatin, and yet, the nature of histone alterations underlying this process is incompletely characterized. Here, we show that linker histone H1 is post-translationally modulated by SUMO2/3, which facilitates its fixation onto ultra-condensed heterochromatin in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Upon SUMOylation depletion, the chromatin becomes de-compacted and H1 is evicted, leading to totipotency reactivation. Furthermore, we show that H1 and SUMO2/3 jointly mediate the repression of totipotent elements. Lastly, we demonstrate that preventing SUMOylation on H1 abrogates its ability to repress the totipotency program in ESCs. Collectively, our findings unravel a critical role for SUMOylation of H1 in facilitating chromatin repression and desolation of the totipotent identity.

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    01/05/22 | Rapid synaptic plasticity contributes to a learned conjunctive code of position and choice-related information in the hippocampus.
    Zhao X, Hsu C, Spruston N
    Neuron. 2022 Jan 05;110(1):96-108.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.10.003

    To successfully perform goal-directed navigation, animals must know where they are and what they are doing-e.g., looking for water, bringing food back to the nest, or escaping from a predator. Hippocampal neurons code for these critical variables conjunctively, but little is known about how this "where/what" code is formed or flexibly routed to other brain regions. To address these questions, we performed intracellular whole-cell recordings in mouse CA1 during a cued, two-choice virtual navigation task. We demonstrate that plateau potentials in CA1 pyramidal neurons rapidly strengthen synaptic inputs carrying conjunctive information about position and choice. Plasticity-induced response fields were modulated by cues only in animals previously trained to collect rewards based on available cues. Thus, we reveal that gradual learning is required for the formation of a conjunctive population code, upstream of CA1, while plateau-potential-induced synaptic plasticity in CA1 enables flexible routing of the code to downstream brain regions.

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    Looger Lab
    01/04/22 | Fluorescence activation mechanism and imaging of drug permeation with new sensors for smoking-cessation ligands.
    Nichols AL, Blumenfeld Z, Fan C, Luebbert L, Blom AE, Cohen BN, Marvin JS, Borden PM, Kim CH, Muthusamy AK, Shivange AV, Knox HJ, Campello HR, Wang JH, Dougherty DA, Looger LL, Gallagher T, Rees DC, Lester HA
    eLife. 2022 Jan 04;11:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.74648

    Nicotinic partial agonists provide an accepted aid for smoking cessation and thus contribute to decreasing tobacco-related disease. Improved drugs constitute a continued area of study. However, there remains no reductionist method to examine the cellular and subcellular pharmacokinetic properties of these compounds in living cells. Here, we developed new intensity-based drug sensing fluorescent reporters ('iDrugSnFRs') for the nicotinic partial agonists dianicline, cytisine, and two cytisine derivatives - 10-fluorocytisine and 9-bromo-10-ethylcytisine. We report the first atomic-scale structures of liganded periplasmic binding protein-based biosensors, accelerating development of iDrugSnFRs and also explaining the activation mechanism. The nicotinic iDrugSnFRs detect their drug partners in solution, as well as at the plasma membrane (PM) and in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cell lines and mouse hippocampal neurons. At the PM, the speed of solution changes limits the growth and decay rates of the fluorescence response in almost all cases. In contrast, we found that rates of membrane crossing differ among these nicotinic drugs by > 30 fold. The new nicotinic iDrugSnFRs provide insight into the real-time pharmacokinetic properties of nicotinic agonists and provide a methodology whereby iDrugSnFRs can inform both pharmaceutical neuroscience and addiction neuroscience.

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    01/01/22 | ER proteins decipher the tubulin code to regulate organelle distribution.
    Zheng P, Obara CJ, Szczesna E, Nixon-Abell J, Mahalingan KK, Roll-Mecak A, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Blackstone C
    Nature. 2022 Jan 01;601(7891):132-138. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-04204-9

    Organelles move along differentially modified microtubules to establish and maintain their proper distributions and functions. However, how cells interpret these post-translational microtubule modification codes to selectively regulate organelle positioning remains largely unknown. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an interconnected network of diverse morphologies that extends promiscuously throughout the cytoplasm, forming abundant contacts with other organelles. Dysregulation of endoplasmic reticulum morphology is tightly linked to neurologic disorders and cancer. Here we demonstrate that three membrane-bound endoplasmic reticulum proteins preferentially interact with different microtubule populations, with CLIMP63 binding centrosome microtubules, kinectin (KTN1) binding perinuclear polyglutamylated microtubules, and p180 binding glutamylated microtubules. Knockout of these proteins or manipulation of microtubule populations and glutamylation status results in marked changes in endoplasmic reticulum positioning, leading to similar redistributions of other organelles. During nutrient starvation, cells modulate CLIMP63 protein levels and p180-microtubule binding to bidirectionally move endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes for proper autophagic responses.

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