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3578 Publications

Showing 91-100 of 3578 results
08/17/22 | Homeodomain proteins hierarchically specify neuronal diversity and synaptic connectivity
Chundi Xu , Tyler B. Ramos , Ed M. Rogers , Michael B. Reiser , Chris Q. Doe
bioRxiv. 2022 Aug 17:. doi: 10.1101/2021.10.01.462699

The brain generates diverse neuron types which express unique homeodomain transcription factors (TFs) and assemble into precise neural circuits. Yet a mechanistic framework is lacking for how homeodomain TFs specify both neuronal fate and synaptic connectivity. We use Drosophila lamina neurons (L1-L5) to show the homeodomain TF Brain-specific homeobox (Bsh) is initiated in lamina precursor cells (LPCs) where it specifies L4/L5 fate and suppresses homeodomain TF Zfh1 to prevent L1/L3 fate. Subsequently, Bsh activates the homeodomain TF Apterous (Ap) in L4 in a feedforward loop to express the synapse recognition molecule DIP-β, in part by Bsh direct binding a DIP-β intron. Thus, homeodomain TFs function hierarchically: primary homeodomain TF (Bsh) first specifies neuronal fate, and subsequently acts with secondary homeodomain TF (Ap) to activate DIP-β, thereby generating precise synaptic connectivity. We speculate that hierarchical homeodomain TF function may represent a general principle for coordinating neuronal fate specification and circuit assembly.

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08/13/22 | A vast space of compact strategies for highly efficient decisions
Tzuhsuan Ma , Ann M Hermundstad
bioRxiv. 2022 Aug 13:. doi: 10.1101/2022.08.10.503471

When foraging in dynamic and uncertain environments, animals can benefit from basing their decisions on smart inferences about hidden properties of the world. Typical theoretical approaches to understand the strategies that animals use in such settings combine Bayesian inference and value iteration to derive optimal behavioral policies that maximize total reward given changing beliefs about the environment. However, specifying these beliefs requires infinite numerical precision; with limited resources, this problem can no longer be separated into optimizing inference and optimizing action selections. To understand the space of behavioral policies in this constrained setting, we enumerate and evaluate all possible behavioral programs that can be constructed from just a handful of states. We show that only a small fraction of the top-performing programs can be constructed by approximating Bayesian inference; the remaining programs are structurally or even functionally distinct from Bayesian. To assess structural and functional relationships among all programs, we developed novel tree embedding algorithms; these embeddings, which are capable of extracting different relational structures within the program space, reveal that nearly all good programs are closely connected through single algorithmic “mutations”. We demonstrate how one can use such relational structures to efficiently search for good solutions via an evolutionary algorithm. Moreover, these embeddings reveal that the diversity of non-Bayesian behaviors originates from a handful of key mutations that broaden the functional repertoire within the space of good programs. The fact that this diversity of behaviors does not significantly compromise performance suggests a novel approach for studying how these strategies generalize across tasks.

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08/12/22 | Isolation, cryo-laser scanning confocal microscope imaging and cryo-FIB milling of mouse glutamatergic synaptosomes.
Gogoi P, Shiozaki M, Gouaux E
PLoS One. 2022 Aug 12;17(8):e0271799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271799

Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) at postsynaptic terminals mediate the majority of fast excitatory neurotransmission in response to release of glutamate from the presynaptic terminal. Obtaining structural information on the molecular organization of iGluRs in their native environment, along with other signaling and scaffolding proteins in the postsynaptic density (PSD), and associated proteins on the presynaptic terminal, would enhance understanding of the molecular basis for excitatory synaptic transmission in normal and in disease states. Cryo-electron tomography (ET) studies of synaptosomes is one attractive vehicle by which to study iGluR-containing excitatory synapses. Here we describe a workflow for the preparation of glutamatergic synaptosomes for cryo-ET studies. We describe the utilization of fluorescent markers for the facile detection of the pre and postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synaptosomes using cryo-laser scanning confocal microscope (cryo-LSM). We further provide the details for preparation of lamellae, between ~100 to 200 nm thick, of glutamatergic synaptosomes using cryo-focused ion-beam (FIB) milling. We monitor the lamella preparation using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and following lamella production, we identify regions for subsequent cryo-ET studies by confocal fluorescent imaging, exploiting the pre and postsynaptic fluorophores.

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Looger Lab
08/12/22 | Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Within Cells: Temporal Resolution in Cytoplasm, Endoplasmic Reticulum, and Membrane
Aaron L. Nichols , Zack Blumenfeld , Laura Luebbert , Hailey J. Knox , Anand K. Muthusamy , Jonathan S. Marvin , Charlene H. Kim , Stephen N. Grant , David P. Walton , Bruce N. Cohen , Rebekkah Hammar , Loren L. Looger , Per Artursson , Dennis A. Dougherty , Henry A. Lester
bioRxiv. 2022 Aug 12:. doi: 10.1101/2022.08.09.502705

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most prescribed treatment for individuals experiencing major depressive disorder (MDD). The therapeutic mechanisms that take place before, during, or after SSRIs bind the serotonin transporter (SERT) are poorly understood, partially because no studies exist of the cellular and subcellular pharmacokinetic properties of SSRIs in living cells. We studied escitalopram and fluoxetine using new intensity- based drug-sensing fluorescent reporters (“iDrugSnFRs”) targeted to the plasma membrane (PM), cytoplasm, or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cultured neurons and mammalian cell lines. We also employed chemical detection of drug within cells and phospholipid membranes. The drugs attain equilibrium in neuronal cytoplasm and ER, at approximately the same concentration as the externally applied solution, with time constants of a few s (escitalopram) or 200-300 s (fluoxetine). Simultaneously, the drugs accumulate within lipid membranes by ≥ 18-fold (escitalopram) or 180-fold (fluoxetine), and possibly by much larger factors. Both drugs leave cytoplasm, lumen, and membranes just as quickly during washout. We synthesized membrane-impermeant quaternary amine derivatives of the two SSRIs. The quaternary derivatives are substantially excluded from membrane, cytoplasm, and ER for > 2.4 h. They inhibit SERT transport-associated currents 6- or 11-fold less potently than the SSRIs (escitalopram or fluoxetine derivative, respectively), providing useful probes for distinguishing compartmentalized SSRI effects. Although our measurements are orders of magnitude faster than the “therapeutic lag” of SSRIs, these data suggest that SSRI-SERT interactions within organelles or membranes may play roles during either the therapeutic effects or the “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome”.

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08/09/22 | Biomechanical origins of proprioceptive maps in the Drosophila leg
Akira Mamiya , Pralaksha Gurung , Igor Siwanowicz , Anne Sustar , Chenghao Chen , Jasper S. Phelps , Aaron T. Kuan , Alexandra Pacureanu , Wei-Chung Allen Lee , Natasha Mhatre , John C. Tuthill
bioRxiv. 2022 Aug 09:. doi: 10.1101/2022.08.08.503192

Proprioception, the sense of body position and movement, is essential for effective motor control. Because proprioceptive sensory neurons are embedded in complex and dynamic tissues, it has been challenging to understand how they sense and encode mechanical stimuli. Here, we find that proprioceptor neurons in the Drosophila femur are organized into functional groups that are biomechanically specialized to detect features of tibia joint kinematics. The dendrites of position and vibration-tuned proprioceptors receive distinct mechanical signals via the arculum, an elegant mechanical structure that decomposes movement of the tibia joint into orthogonal components. The cell bodies of position-tuned proprioceptors form a goniotopic map of joint angle, whereas the dendrites of vibration-tuned proprioceptors form a tonotopic map of tibia vibration frequency. Our findings reveal biomechanical mechanisms that underlie proprioceptor feature selectivity and identify common organizational principles between proprioception and other topographically organized sensory systems.

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08/08/22 | Disorder and the Neural Representation of Complex Odors.
Krishnamurthy K, Hermundstad AM, Mora T, Walczak AM, Balasubramanian V
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 2022 Aug 08;16:917786. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2022.917786

Animals smelling in the real world use a small number of receptors to sense a vast number of natural molecular mixtures, and proceed to learn arbitrary associations between odors and valences. Here, we propose how the architecture of olfactory circuits leverages disorder, diffuse sensing and redundancy in representation to meet these immense complementary challenges. First, the diffuse and disordered binding of receptors to many molecules compresses a vast but sparsely-structured odor space into a small receptor space, yielding an odor code that preserves similarity in a precise sense. Introducing any order/structure in the sensing degrades similarity preservation. Next, lateral interactions further reduce the correlation present in the low-dimensional receptor code. Finally, expansive disordered projections from the periphery to the central brain reconfigure the densely packed information into a high-dimensional representation, which contains multiple redundant subsets from which downstream neurons can learn flexible associations and valences. Moreover, introducing any order in the expansive projections degrades the ability to recall the learned associations in the presence of noise. We test our theory empirically using data from . Our theory suggests that the neural processing of sparse but high-dimensional olfactory information differs from the other senses in its fundamental use of disorder.

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08/08/22 | Neural network organization for courtship-song feature detection in Drosophila.
Baker CA, McKellar C, Pang R, Nern A, Dorkenwald S, Pacheco DA, Eckstein N, Funke J, Dickson BJ, Murthy M
Current Biology. 2022 Aug 08;32(15):3317-3333.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.019

Animals communicate using sounds in a wide range of contexts, and auditory systems must encode behaviorally relevant acoustic features to drive appropriate reactions. How feature detection emerges along auditory pathways has been difficult to solve due to challenges in mapping the underlying circuits and characterizing responses to behaviorally relevant features. Here, we study auditory activity in the Drosophila melanogaster brain and investigate feature selectivity for the two main modes of fly courtship song, sinusoids and pulse trains. We identify 24 new cell types of the intermediate layers of the auditory pathway, and using a new connectomic resource, FlyWire, we map all synaptic connections between these cell types, in addition to connections to known early and higher-order auditory neurons-this represents the first circuit-level map of the auditory pathway. We additionally determine the sign (excitatory or inhibitory) of most synapses in this auditory connectome. We find that auditory neurons display a continuum of preferences for courtship song modes and that neurons with different song-mode preferences and response timescales are highly interconnected in a network that lacks hierarchical structure. Nonetheless, we find that the response properties of individual cell types within the connectome are predictable from their inputs. Our study thus provides new insights into the organization of auditory coding within the Drosophila brain.

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08/08/22 | Structured sampling of olfactory input by the fly mushroom body.
Zheng Z, Li F, Fisher C, Ali IJ, Sharifi N, Calle-Schuler S, Hsu J, Masoodpanah N, Kmecova L, Kazimiers T, Perlman E, Nichols M, Li PH, Jain V, Bock DD
Current Biology. 2022 Aug 08;32(15):3334-3349.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.031

Associative memory formation and recall in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is subserved by the mushroom body (MB). Upon arrival in the MB, sensory information undergoes a profound transformation from broadly tuned and stereotyped odorant responses in the olfactory projection neuron (PN) layer to narrowly tuned and nonstereotyped responses in the Kenyon cells (KCs). Theory and experiment suggest that this transformation is implemented by random connectivity between KCs and PNs. However, this hypothesis has been challenging to test, given the difficulty of mapping synaptic connections between large numbers of brain-spanning neurons. Here, we used a recent whole-brain electron microscopy volume of the adult fruit fly to map PN-to-KC connectivity at synaptic resolution. The PN-KC connectome revealed unexpected structure, with preponderantly food-responsive PN types converging at above-chance levels on downstream KCs. Axons of the overconvergent PN types tended to arborize near one another in the MB main calyx, making local KC dendrites more likely to receive input from those types. Overconvergent PN types preferentially co-arborize and connect with dendrites of αβ and α'β' KC subtypes. Computational simulation of the observed network showed degraded discrimination performance compared with a random network, except when all signal flowed through the overconvergent, primarily food-responsive PN types. Additional theory and experiment will be needed to fully characterize the impact of the observed non-random network structure on associative memory formation and recall.

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07/30/22 | Characterization, Comparison, and Optimization of Lattice Light Sheets
Gaoxiang Liu , Xiongtao Ruan , Daniel E. Milkie , Frederik Görlitz , Matthew Mueller , Wilmene Hercule , Alison Kililea , Eric Betzig , Srigokul Upadhyayula
bioRxiv. 2022 Jul 30:. doi: 10.1101/2022.07.30.502108

Lattice light sheet microscopy excels at the non-invasive imaging of three-dimensional (3D) dynamic processes at high spatiotemporal resolution within cells and developing embryos. Recently, several papers have called into question the performance of lattice light sheets relative to the Gaussian sheets most common in light sheet microscopy. Here we undertake a comprehensive theoretical and experimental analysis of various forms of light sheet microscopy which both demonstrates and explains why lattice light sheets provide significant improvements in resolution and photobleaching reduction. The analysis provides a procedure to select the correct light sheet for a desired experiment and specifies the processing that maximizes the use of all fluorescence generated within the light sheet excitation envelope for optimal resolution while minimizing image artifacts and photodamage. Development of a new type of “harmonic balanced” lattice light sheet is shown to improve performance at all spatial frequencies within its 3D resolution limits and maintains this performance over lengthened propagation distances allowing for expanded fields of view.

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07/27/22 | Actin nano-architecture of phagocytic podosomes
J. Cody Herron , Shiqiong Hu , Takashi Watanabe , Ana T. Nogueira , Bei Liu , Megan Kern , Jesse Aaron , Aaron Taylor , Michael Pablo , Teng-Leong Chew , Timothy C. Elston , Klaus M. Hahn
Nature Communications. 2022 Jul 27;13(1):4363. doi: 10.1101/2022.05.04.490675

Podosomes are actin-enriched adhesion structures important for multiple cellular processes, including migration, bone remodeling, and phagocytosis. Here, we characterized the structure and organization of phagocytic podosomes using interferometric photoactivated localization microscopy (iPALM), a super-resolution microscopy technique capable of 15-20 nm resolution, together with structured illumination microscopy (SIM) and localization-based superresolution microscopy. Phagocytic podosomes were observed during frustrated phagocytosis, a model in which cells attempt to engulf micro-patterned IgG antibodies. For circular patterns, this resulted in regular arrays of podosomes with well-defined geometry. Using persistent homology, we developed a pipeline for semi-automatic identification and measurement of podosome features. These studies revealed an "hourglass" shape of the podosome actin core, a protruding "knob" at the bottom of the core, and two actin networks extending from the core. Additionally, the distributions of paxillin, talin, myosin II, α-actinin, cortactin, and microtubules relative to actin were characterized.

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