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3 Publications

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    07/09/17 | Fluorogenic Labeling Strategies for Biological Imaging
    Li C, Tebo AG, Gautier A
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 07/2017;18:1473 – 11. doi: 10.3390/ijms18071473

    The spatiotemporal fluorescence imaging of biological processes requires effective tools to label intracellular biomolecules in living systems. This review presents a brief overview of recent labeling strategies that permits one to make protein and RNA strongly fluorescent using synthetic fluorogenic probes. Genetically encoded tags selectively binding the exogenously applied molecules ensure high labeling selectivity, while high imaging contrast is achieved using fluorogenic chromophores that are fluorescent only when bound to their cognate tag, and are otherwise dark. Beyond avoiding the need for removal of unbound synthetic dyes, these approaches allow the development of sophisticated imaging assays, and open exciting prospects for advanced imaging, particularly for multiplexed imaging and super-resolution microscopy.

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    05/02/17 | Discovery of chemoautotrophic symbiosis in the giant shipworm Kuphus polythalamia (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) extends wooden-steps theory
    Distel DL, Altamia MA, Lin Z, Shipway JR, Han A, Forteza I, Antemano R, Limbaco MG, Tebo AG, Dechavez R, Albano J, Rosenberg G, Concepcion GP, Schmidt EW, Haygood MG
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 05/2017;114:E3652–E3658. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1620470114

    Certain marine invertebrates harbor chemosynthetic bacterial symbionts, giving them the remarkable ability to consume inorganic chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) rather than organic matter as food. These chemosynthetic animals are found near geochemical (e.g., hydrothermal vents) or biological (e.g., decaying wood or large animal carcasses) sources of H2S on the seafloor. Although many such symbioses have been discovered, little is known about how or where they originated. Here, we demonstrate a new chemosynthetic symbiosis in the giant teredinid bivalve (shipworm) Kuphus polythalamia and show that this symbiosis arose in a wood-eating ancestor via the displacement of ancestral cellulolytic symbionts by sulfur-oxidizing invaders. Here, wood served as an evolutionary stepping stone for a dramatic transition from heterotrophy to chemoautotrophy.The “wooden-steps” hypothesis [Distel DL, et al. (2000) Nature 403:725–726] proposed that large chemosynthetic mussels found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents descend from much smaller species associated with sunken wood and other organic deposits, and that the endosymbionts of these progenitors made use of hydrogen sulfide from biogenic sources (e.g., decaying wood) rather than from vent fluids. Here, we show that wood has served not only as a stepping stone between habitats but also as a bridge between heterotrophic and chemoautotrophic symbiosis for the giant mud-boring bivalve Kuphus polythalamia. This rare and enigmatic species, which achieves the greatest length of any extant bivalve, is the only described member of the wood-boring bivalve family Teredinidae (shipworms) that burrows in marine sediments rather than wood. We show that K. polythalamia harbors sulfur-oxidizing chemoautotrophic (thioautotrophic) bacteria instead of the cellulolytic symbionts that allow other shipworm species to consume wood as food. The characteristics of its symbionts, its phylogenetic position within Teredinidae, the reduction of its digestive system by comparison with other family members, and the loss of morphological features associated with wood digestion indicate that K. polythalamia is a chemoautotrophic bivalve descended from wood-feeding (xylotrophic) ancestors. This is an example in which a chemoautotrophic endosymbiosis arose by displacement of an ancestral heterotrophic symbiosis and a report of pure culture of a thioautotrophic endosymbiont.

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    02/08/17 | Intramolecular Photogeneration of a Tyrosine Radical in a Designed Protein
    Tebo AG, Quaranta A, Herrero C, Pecoraro VL, Aukauloo A
    ChemPhotoChem. 02/2017;1:89 – 92. doi: 10.1002/cptc.201600044

    Long‐distance biological electron transfer occurs through a hopping mechanism and often involves tyrosine as a high potential intermediate, for example in the early charge separation steps during photosynthesis. Protein design allows for the development of minimal systems to study the underlying principles of complex systems. Herein, we report the development of the first ruthenium‐linked designed protein for the photogeneration of a tyrosine radical by intramolecular electron transfer.

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