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1089 Janelia Publications

Showing 1-10 of 1089 results
01/03/17 | A fully synthetic transcriptional platform for a multicellular eukaryote.
Crocker J, Tsai A, Stern DL
Cell Reports. 2017 Jan 03;18(1):287-296. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.025

Regions of genomic DNA called enhancers encode binding sites for transcription factor proteins. Binding of activators and repressors increase and reduce transcription, respectively, but it is not understood how combinations of activators and repressors generate precise patterns of transcription during development. Here, we explore this problem using a fully synthetic transcriptional platform in Drosophila consisting of engineered transcription factor gradients and artificial enhancers. We found that binding sites for a transcription factor that makes DNA accessible are required together with binding sites for transcriptional activators to produce a functional enhancer. Only in this context can changes in the number of activator binding sites mediate quantitative control of transcription. Using an engineered transcriptional repressor gradient, we demonstrate that overlapping repressor and activator binding sites provide more robust repression and sharper expression boundaries than non-overlapping sites. This may explain why this common motif is observed in many developmental enhancers.

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01/03/17 | Atomic structures of fibrillar segments of hIAPP suggest tightly mated β-sheets are important for cytotoxicity.
Krotee P, Rodriguez JA, Sawaya MR, Cascio D, Reyes FE, Shi D, Hattne J, Nannenga BL, Oskarsson ME, Philipp S, Griner S, Jiang L, Glabe CG, Westermark GT, Gonen T, Eisenberg DS
eLife. 2017 Jan 03;6:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19273

hIAPP fibrils are associated with Type-II Diabetes, but the link of hIAPP structure to islet cell death remains elusive. Here we observe that hIAPP fibrils are cytotoxic to cultured pancreatic β-cells, leading us to determine the structure and cytotoxicity of protein segments composing the amyloid spine of hIAPP. Using the cryoEM method MicroED, we discover that one segment, 19-29 S20G, forms pairs of β-sheets mated by a dry interface that share structural features with and are similarly cytotoxic to full-length hIAPP fibrils. In contrast, a second segment, 15-25 WT, forms non-toxic labile β-sheets. These segments possess different structures and cytotoxic effects, however, both can seed full-length hIAPP, and cause hIAPP to take on the cytotoxic and structural features of that segment. These results suggest that protein segment structures represent polymorphs of their parent protein and that segment 19-29 S20G may serve as a model for the toxic spine of hIAPP.

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01/01/17 | Machine vision methods for analyzing social interactions.
Robie AA, Seagraves KM, Egnor SE, Branson K
The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017 Jan 01;220(Pt 1):25-34. doi: 10.1242/jeb.142281

Recent developments in machine vision methods for automatic, quantitative analysis of social behavior have immensely improved both the scale and level of resolution with which we can dissect interactions between members of the same species. In this paper, we review these methods, with a particular focus on how biologists can apply them to their own work. We discuss several components of machine vision-based analyses: methods to record high-quality video for automated analyses, video-based tracking algorithms for estimating the positions of interacting animals, and machine learning methods for recognizing patterns of interactions. These methods are extremely general in their applicability, and we review a subset of successful applications of them to biological questions in several model systems with very different types of social behaviors.

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01/01/17 | Solution of the structure of a calmodulin-peptide complex in a novel configuration from a variably twinned data set.
Keller JPearson
Acta Crystallographica. Section D, Structural Biology. 2017 Jan 01;73(Pt 1):22-31. doi: 10.1107/S2059798316019318

Structure determination of conformationally variable proteins can prove challenging even when many possible molecular-replacement (MR) search models of high sequence similarity are available. Calmodulin (CaM) is perhaps the best-studied archetype of these flexible proteins: while there are currently ∼450 structures of significant sequence similarity available in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), novel conformations of CaM and complexes thereof continue to be reported. Here, the details of the solution of a novel peptide-CaM complex structure by MR are presented, in which only one MR solution of marginal quality was found despite the use of 120 different search models, an exclusivity enhanced by the presence of a high degree of hemihedral twinning (overall refined twin fraction = 0.43). Ambiguities in the initial MR electron-density maps were overcome by using MR-SAD: phases from the MR partial model were used to identify weak anomalous scatterers (calcium, sulfur and chloride), which were in turn used to improve the phases, automatically rebuild the structure and resolve sequence ambiguities. Retrospective analysis of consecutive wedges of the original data sets showed twin fractions ranging from 0.32 to 0.55, suggesting that the data sets were variably twinned. Despite these idiosyncrasies and obstacles, the data themselves and the final model were of high quality and indeed showed a novel, nearly right-angled conformation of the bound peptide.

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12/30/16 | Live cell single molecule-guided Bayesian localization super resolution microscopy.
Xu F, Zhang M, He W, Han R, Xue F, Liu Z, Zhang F, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Xu P
Cell Research. 2016 Dec 30:. doi: 10.1038/cr.2015.160
12/28/16 | Visual projection neurons in the Drosophila lobula link feature detection to distinct behavioral programs.
Wu M, Nern A, Williamson WRyan, Morimoto MM, Reiser MB, Card GM, Rubin GM
eLife. 2016 Dec 28;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.21022

Visual projection neurons (VPNs) provide an anatomical connection between early visual processing and higher brain regions. Here we characterize lobula columnar (LC) cells, a class of Drosophila VPNs that project to distinct central brain structures called optic glomeruli. We anatomically describe 22 different LC types and show that, for several types, optogenetic activation in freely moving flies evokes specific behaviors. The activation phenotypes of two LC types closely resemble natural avoidance behaviors triggered by a visual loom. In vivo two-photon calcium imaging reveals that these LC types respond to looming stimuli, while another type does not, but instead responds to the motion of a small object. Activation of LC neurons on only one side of the brain can result in attractive or aversive turning behaviors depending on the cell type. Our results indicate that LC neurons convey information on the presence and location of visual features relevant for specific behaviors.

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12/18/16 | Canonical genetic signatures of the adult human brain.
Hawrylycz M, Miller JA, Menon V, Feng D, Dolbeare T, Guillozet-Bongaarts AL, Jegga AG, Aronow BJ, Lee C, Bernard A, Glasser MF, Dierker DL, Menche J, Szafer A, Collman F, Grange P, Berman KA, Mihalas S, Yao Z, Stewart L, Barabási A, Schulkin J, Phillips J, Ng L, Dang C, Haynor DR, Jones A, Van Essen DC, Koch C, Lein E
Nature neuroscience. 2015 Dec;18(12):1832-44. doi: 10.1038/nn.4171

The structure and function of the human brain are highly stereotyped, implying a conserved molecular program responsible for its development, cellular structure and function. We applied a correlation-based metric called differential stability to assess reproducibility of gene expression patterning across 132 structures in six individual brains, revealing mesoscale genetic organization. The genes with the highest differential stability are highly biologically relevant, with enrichment for brain-related annotations, disease associations, drug targets and literature citations. Using genes with high differential stability, we identified 32 anatomically diverse and reproducible gene expression signatures, which represent distinct cell types, intracellular components and/or associations with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Genes in neuron-associated compared to non-neuronal networks showed higher preservation between human and mouse; however, many diversely patterned genes displayed marked shifts in regulation between species. Finally, highly consistent transcriptional architecture in neocortex is correlated with resting state functional connectivity, suggesting a link between conserved gene expression and functionally relevant circuitry.

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12/14/16 | Near-atomic-resolution cryo-EM analysis of the Salmonella T3S injectisome basal body.
Worrall LJ, Hong C, Vuckovic M, Deng W, Bergeron JR, Majewski DD, Huang RK, Spreter T, Finlay BB, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
Nature. 2016 Dec 14:. doi: 10.1038/nature20576

The type III secretion (T3S) injectisome is a specialized protein nanomachine that is critical for the pathogenicity of many Gram-negative bacteria, including purveyors of plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, sexually transmitted infections and major nosocomial infections. This syringe-shaped 3.5-MDa macromolecular assembly spans both bacterial membranes and that of the infected host cell. The internal channel formed by the injectisome allows for the direct delivery of partially unfolded virulence effectors into the host cytoplasm. The structural foundation of the injectisome is the basal body, a molecular lock-nut structure composed predominantly of three proteins that form highly oligomerized concentric rings spanning the inner and outer membranes. Here we present the structure of the prototypical Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium pathogenicity island 1 basal body, determined using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, with the inner-membrane-ring and outer-membrane-ring oligomers defined at 4.3 Å and 3.6 Å resolution, respectively. This work presents the first, to our knowledge, high-resolution structural characterization of the major components of the basal body in the assembled state, including that of the widespread class of outer-membrane portals known as secretins.

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12/14/16 | The nanoscale spatial organization of B cell receptors on IgM- and IgG-expressing human B cells.
Lee J, Sengupta P, Brzostowski J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Pierce SK
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2016 Dec 14:. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-06-0452

B cell activation is initiated by the binding of antigen to the B cell receptor (BCR). Here we used dSTORM super resolution imaging to characterize the nanoscale spatial organization of IgM and IgG BCRs on the surfaces of resting and antigen-activated human peripheral blood B cells. We provide insights into both the fundamental process of antigen-driven BCR clustering as well as differences in the spatial organization of IgM and IgG BCRs that may contribute to the characteristic differences in the responses of naïve and memory B cells to antigen. We provide evidence that although both IgM and IgG BCRs reside in highly heterogeneous protein islands that vary in both size and number of BCR single molecule localizations, both resting and activated B cells intrinsically maintain a high frequency of single isolated BCR localizations, which likely represent BCR monomers. IgG BCRs are more clustered than IgM BCRs on resting cells and form larger protein islands following antigen activation. Small dense BCR clusters likely formed via protein-protein interactions are present on the surface of resting cells and antigen activation induces these to come together to form less dense, larger islands, a process likely governed, at least in part, by protein-lipid interactions.

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12/13/16 | A plasma membrane template for macropinocytic cups.
Veltman DM, Williams TD, Bloomfield G, Chen B, Betzig E, Insall RH, Kay RR
eLife. 2016 Dec 13;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.20085

Macropinocytosis is a fundamental mechanism that allows cells to take up extracellular liquid into large vesicles. It critically depends on the formation of a ring of protrusive actin beneath the plasma membrane, which develops into the macropinocytic cup. We show that macropinocytic cups in Dictyostelium are organised around coincident intense patches of PIP3, active Ras and active Rac. These signalling patches are invariably associated with a ring of active SCAR/WAVE at their periphery, as are all examined structures based on PIP3 patches, including phagocytic cups and basal waves. Patch formation does not depend on the enclosing F-actin ring, and patches become enlarged when the RasGAP NF1 is mutated, showing that Ras plays an instructive role. New macropinocytic cups predominantly form by splitting from existing ones. We propose that cup-shaped plasma membrane structures form from self-organizing patches of active Ras/PIP3, which recruit a ring of actin nucleators to their periphery.

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