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1383 Janelia Publications

Showing 1-10 of 1383 results
08/01/18 | Interacting organelles.
Cohen S, Valm AM, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2018 Aug;53:84-91. doi: 10.1016/

Eukaryotic cells are organized into membrane-bound organelles. These organelles communicate with one another through vesicular trafficking pathways and membrane contact sites (MCSs). MCSs are sites of close apposition between two or more organelles that play diverse roles in the exchange of metabolites, lipids and proteins. Organelle interactions at MCSs also are important for organelle division and biogenesis. For example, the division of several organelles, including mitochondria and endosomes, seem to be regulated by contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Moreover, the biogenesis of autophagosomes and peroxisomes involves contributions from the ER and multiple other cellular compartments. Thus, organelle-organelle interactions allow cells to alter the shape and activities of their membrane-bound compartments, allowing them to cope with different developmental and environmental conditions.

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07/13/18 | Cryo-EM structure of the polycystin 2-l1 ion channel.
Hulse RE, Li Z, Huang RK, Zhang J, Clapham DE
eLife. 2018 Jul 13;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36931

We report the near atomic resolution (3.3 Å) of the human polycystic kidney disease 2-like 1 (polycystin 2-l1) ion channel. Encoded by PKD2L1, polycystin 2-l1 is a calcium and monovalent cation-permeant ion channel in primary cilia and plasma membranes. The related primary cilium-specific polycystin-2 protein, encoded by PKD2, shares a high degree of sequence similarity, yet has distinct permeability characteristics. Here we show that these differences are reflected in the architecture of polycystin 2-l1.

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07/13/18 | Fluorogenic structure activity library pinpoints molecular variations in substrate specificity of structurally homologous esterases.
White A, Koelper A, Russell A, Larsen EM, Kim C, Lavis LD, Hoops GC, Johnson RJ
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2018 Jul 13:. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.003972

Cellular esterases catalyze many essential biological functions by performing hydrolysis reactions on diverse substrates. The promiscuity of esterases complicates assignment of their substrate preferences and biological functions. To identify universal factors controlling esterase substrate recognition, we designed a 32-member structure-activity relationship (SAR) library of fluorogenic ester substrates and used this library to systematically interrogate esterase preference for chain length, branching patterns, and polarity to differentiate common classes of esterase substrates. Two structurally homologous bacterial esterases were screened against this library, refining their previously broad overlapping substrate specificity. esterase ybfF displayed a preference for γ-position thioethers and ethers, whereas Rv0045c from displayed a preference for branched substrates with and without thioethers. We determined that this substrate differentiation was partially controlled by individual substrate selectivity residues Tyr119 in ybfF and His187 in Rv0045c; reciprocal substitution of these residues shifted each esterase's substrate preference. This work demonstrates that the selectivity of esterases is tuned based on transition state stabilization, identifies thioethers as an underutilized functional group for esterase substrates, and provides a rapid method for differentiating structural isozymes. This SAR library could have multi-faceted future applications including in vivo imaging, biocatalyst screening, molecular fingerprinting, and inhibitor design.

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07/11/18 | Evolution of a central neural circuit underlies Drosophila mate preferences.
Seeholzer LF, Seppo M, Stern DL, Ruta V
Nature. 2018 Jul 11:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0322-9

Courtship rituals serve to reinforce reproductive barriers between closely related species. Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans exhibit reproductive isolation, owing in part to the fact that D. melanogaster females produce 7,11-heptacosadiene, a pheromone that promotes courtship in D. melanogaster males but suppresses courtship in D. simulans males. Here we compare pheromone-processing pathways in D. melanogaster and D. simulans males to define how these sister species endow 7,11-heptacosadiene with the opposite behavioural valence to underlie species discrimination. We show that males of both species detect 7,11-heptacosadiene using homologous peripheral sensory neurons, but this signal is differentially propagated to P1 neurons, which control courtship behaviour. A change in the balance of excitation and inhibition onto courtship-promoting neurons transforms an excitatory pheromonal cue in D. melanogaster into an inhibitory cue in D. simulans. Our results reveal how species-specific pheromone responses can emerge from conservation of peripheral detection mechanisms and diversification of central circuitry, and demonstrate how flexible nodes in neural circuits can contribute to behavioural evolution.

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07/10/18 | Aberrant calcium signaling in astrocytes inhibits neuronal excitability in a human Down syndrome stem cell model.
Tian L, Or G, Wang Y, Shi G, Wang Y, Sun J, Papadopoulos S, Broussard G, Unger E, Deng W, Weick J, Bhattacharyya A, Chen C, Yu G, Looger LL
Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 10;24(2):355-65. doi: 10.1101/247585

Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that causes cognitive impairment. The staggering effects associated with an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) complicates mechanistic understanding of DS pathophysiology. We examined the neuron-astrocyte interplay in a fully recapitulated HSA21 trisomy cellular model differentiated from DS-patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). By combining calcium imaging with genetic approaches, we discovered the functional defects of DS astroglia and their effects on neuronal excitability. Compared with control isogenic astroglia, DS astroglia exhibited more-frequent spontaneous calcium fluctuations, which reduced the excitability of co-cultured neurons. Furthermore, suppressed neuronal activity could be rescued by abolishing astrocytic spontaneous calcium activity either chemically by blocking adenosine-mediated signaling or genetically by knockdown of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptors or S100B, a calcium binding protein coded on HSA21. Our results suggest a mechanism by which DS alters the function of astrocytes, which subsequently disturbs neuronal excitability.

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07/10/18 | Adaptive coding for dynamic sensory inference.
Młynarski WF, Hermundstad AM
eLife. 2018 Jul 10;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32055

Behavior relies on the ability of sensory systems to infer properties of the environment from incoming stimuli. The accuracy of inference depends on the fidelity with which behaviorally relevant properties of stimuli are encoded in neural responses. High-fidelity encodings can be metabolically costly, but low-fidelity encodings can cause errors in inference. Here, we discuss general principles that underlie the tradeoff between encoding cost and inference error. We then derive adaptive encoding schemes that dynamically navigate this tradeoff. These optimal encodings tend to increase the fidelity of the neural representation following a change in the stimulus distribution, and reduce fidelity for stimuli that originate from a known distribution. We predict dynamical signatures of such encoding schemes and demonstrate how known phenomena, such as burst coding and firing rate adaptation, can be understood as hallmarks of optimal coding for accurate inference.

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07/02/18 | Apical and basal matrix remodeling control epithelial morphogenesis.
Diaz-de-la-Loza M, Ray RP, Ganguly PS, Alt S, Davis JR, Hoppe A, Tapon N, Salbreux G, Thompson BJ
Developmental Cell. 2018 Jul 02;46(1):23-39.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.06.006

Epithelial tissues can elongate in two dimensions by polarized cell intercalation, oriented cell division, or cell shape change, owing to local or global actomyosin contractile forces acting in the plane of the tissue. In addition, epithelia can undergo morphogenetic change in three dimensions. We show that elongation of the wings and legs of Drosophila involves a columnar-to-cuboidal cell shape change that reduces cell height and expands cell width. Remodeling of the apical extracellular matrix by the Stubble protease and basal matrix by MMP1/2 proteases induces wing and leg elongation. Matrix remodeling does not occur in the haltere, a limb that fails to elongate. Limb elongation is made anisotropic by planar polarized Myosin-II, which drives convergent extension along the proximal-distal axis. Subsequently, Myosin-II relocalizes to lateral membranes to accelerate columnar-to-cuboidal transition and isotropic tissue expansion. Thus, matrix remodeling induces dynamic changes in actomyosin contractility to drive epithelial morphogenesis in three dimensions.

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07/01/18 | Cryo-EM structure of an essential Plasmodium vivax invasion complex.
Gruszczyk J, Huang RK, Chan L, Menant S, Hong C, Murphy JM, Mok Y, Griffin MD, Pearson RD, Wong W, Cowman AF, Yu Z, Tham W
Nature. 2018 Jul;559(7712):135-139. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0249-1

Plasmodium vivax is the most widely distributed malaria parasite that infects humans. P. vivax invades reticulocytes exclusively, and successful entry depends on specific interactions between the P. vivax reticulocyte-binding protein 2b (PvRBP2b) and transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). TfR1-deficient erythroid cells are refractory to invasion by P. vivax, and anti-PvRBP2b monoclonal antibodies inhibit reticulocyte binding and block P. vivax invasion in field isolates. Here we report a high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of a ternary complex of PvRBP2b bound to human TfR1 and transferrin, at 3.7 Å resolution. Mutational analyses show that PvRBP2b residues involved in complex formation are conserved; this suggests that antigens could be designed that act across P. vivax strains. Functional analyses of TfR1 highlight how P. vivax hijacks TfR1, an essential housekeeping protein, by binding to sites that govern host specificity, without affecting its cellular function of transporting iron. Crystal and solution structures of PvRBP2b in complex with antibody fragments characterize the inhibitory epitopes. Our results establish a structural framework for understanding how P. vivax reticulocyte-binding protein engages its receptor and the molecular mechanism of inhibitory monoclonal antibodies, providing important information for the design of novel vaccine candidates.

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06/26/18 | Honeybee detection and pose estimation using convolutional neural networks.
Rodriguez IF, Branson KM, Acuna E, Agosto-Rivera J, Giray T, Megret R
RFIAP 2018. 2018 Jun 26:

The ability to automatize the analysis of video for monitoring animals and insects is of great interest for behavior science and ecology [1]. In particular, honeybees play a crucial role in agriculture as natural pollinators. However, recent studies has shown that phenomena such as colony collapse disorder are causing the loss of many colonies [2]. Due to the high number of interacting factors to explain these events, a multi-faceted analysis of the bees in their environment is required. We focus in our work in developing tools to help model and understand their behavior as individuals, in relation with the health and performance of the colony.

In this paper, we report the development of a new system for the detection, locali- zation and tracking of honeybee body parts from video on the entrance ramp of the colony. The proposed system builds on the recent advances in Convolutional Neu- ral Networks (CNN) for Human pose estimation and evaluates the suitability for the detection of honeybee pose as shown in Figure 1. This opens the door for novel animal behavior analysis systems that take advantage of the precise detection and tracking of the insect pose. 

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12/09/17 | Optogenetic dissection of descending behavioral control in Drosophila.
Cande J, Namiki S, Qiu J, Korff W, Card GM, Shaevitz JW, Stern DL, Berman GJ
eLife. 2018:e34275. doi: 10.7554/eLife.34275

In most animals, the brain makes behavioral decisions that are transmitted by descending neurons to the nerve cord circuitry that produces behaviors. In insects, only a few descending neurons have been associated with specific behaviors. To explore how descending neurons control an insect's movements, we developed a novel method to systematically assay the behavioral effects of activating individual neurons on freely behaving terrestrial D. melanogaster. We calculated a two-dimensional representation of the entire behavior space explored by these flies and we associated descending neurons with specific behaviors by identifying regions of this space that were visited with increased frequency during optogenetic activation. Applying this approach across a large collection of descending neurons, we found that (1) activation of most of the descending neurons drove stereotyped behaviors, (2) in many cases multiple descending neurons activated similar behaviors, and (3) optogenetically-activated behaviors were often dependent on the behavioral state prior to activation.

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