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186 Janelia Publications

Showing 131-140 of 186 results
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    04/10/17 | AMPK and vacuole-associated Atg14p orchestrate µ-lipophagy for energy production and long-term survival under glucose starvation.
    Seo AY, Lau P, Feliciano D, Sengupta P, Le Gros MA, Cinquin B, Larabell CA, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    eLife. 2017 Apr 10;6:e21690. doi: 10.7554/eLife.21690

    Dietary restriction increases the longevity of many organisms but the cell signaling and organellar mechanisms underlying this capability are unclear. We demonstrate that to permit long-term survival in response to sudden glucose depletion, yeast cells activate lipid-droplet (LD) consumption through micro-lipophagy (µ-lipophagy), in which fat is metabolized as an alternative energy source. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation triggered this pathway, which required Atg14p. More gradual glucose starvation, amino acid deprivation or rapamycin did not trigger µ-lipophagy and failed to provide the needed substitute energy source for long-term survival. During acute glucose restriction, activated AMPK was stabilized from degradation and interacted with Atg14p. This prompted Atg14p redistribution from ER exit sites onto liquid-ordered vacuole membrane domains, initiating µ-lipophagy. Our findings that activated AMPK and Atg14p are required to orchestrate µ-lipophagy for energy production in starved cells is relevant for studies on aging and evolutionary survival strategies of different organisms.

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    04/10/17 | Stem cell-intrinsic, seven-up-triggered temporal factor gradients diversify intermediate neural progenitors.
    Ren Q, Yang C, Liu Z, Sugino K, Mok K, He Y, Ito M, Nern A, Otsuna H, Lee T
    Current Biology : CB. 2017 Apr 10;27(9):1303-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.047

    Building a sizable, complex brain requires both cellular expansion and diversification. One mechanism to achieve these goals is production of multiple transiently amplifying intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) from a single neural stem cell. Like mammalian neural stem cells, Drosophila type II neuroblasts utilize INPs to produce neurons and glia. Within a given lineage, the consecutively born INPs produce morphologically distinct progeny, presumably due to differential inheritance of temporal factors. To uncover the underlying temporal fating mechanisms, we profiled type II neuroblasts' transcriptome across time. Our results reveal opposing temporal gradients of Imp and Syp RNA-binding proteins (descending and ascending, respectively). Maintaining high Imp throughout serial INP production expands the number of neurons and glia with early temporal fate at the expense of cells with late fate. Conversely, precocious upregulation of Syp reduces the number of cells with early fate. Furthermore, we reveal that the transcription factor Seven-up initiates progression of the Imp/Syp gradients. Interestingly, neuroblasts that maintain initial Imp/Syp levels can still yield progeny with a small range of early fates. We therefore propose that the Seven-up-initiated Imp/Syp gradients create coarse temporal windows within type II neuroblasts to pattern INPs, which subsequently undergo fine-tuned subtemporal patterning.

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    04/07/17 | Deconstructing behavioral neuropharmacology with cellular specificity.
    Shields BC, Kahuno E, Kim C, Apostolides PF, Brown J, Lindo S, Mensh BD, Dudman JT, Lavis LD, Tadross MR
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2017 Apr 07;356(6333):. doi: 10.1126/science.aaj2161

    Behavior has molecular, cellular, and circuit determinants. However, because many proteins are broadly expressed, their acute manipulation within defined cells has been difficult. Here, we combined the speed and molecular specificity of pharmacology with the cell type specificity of genetic tools. DART (drugs acutely restricted by tethering) is a technique that rapidly localizes drugs to the surface of defined cells, without prior modification of the native target. We first developed an AMPAR antagonist DART, with validation in cultured neuronal assays, in slices of mouse dorsal striatum, and in behaving mice. In parkinsonian animals, motor deficits were causally attributed to AMPARs in indirect spiny projection neurons (iSPNs) and to excess phasic firing of tonically active interneurons (TANs). Together, iSPNs and TANs (i.e., D2 cells) drove akinesia, whereas movement execution deficits reflected the ratio of AMPARs in D2 versus D1 cells. Finally, we designed a muscarinic antagonist DART in one iteration, demonstrating applicability of the method to diverse targets.

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    04/07/17 | Defects in ER-endosome contacts impact lysosome function in hereditary spastic paraplegia.
    Allison R, Edgar JR, Pearson G, Rizo T, Newton T, Günther S, Berner F, Hague J, Connell JW, Winkler J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Beetz C, Winner B, Reid E
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 2017 Apr 07;216(5):1337-55. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201609033

    Contacts between endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) promote endosomal tubule fission, but the mechanisms involved and consequences of tubule fission failure are incompletely understood. We found that interaction between the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin and the ESCRT protein IST1 at ER-endosome contacts drives endosomal tubule fission. Failure of fission caused defective sorting of mannose 6-phosphate receptor, with consequently disrupted lysosomal enzyme trafficking and abnormal lysosomal morphology, including in mouse primary neurons and human stem cell-derived neurons. Consistent with a role for ER-mediated endosomal tubule fission in lysosome function, similar lysosomal abnormalities were seen in cellular models lacking the WASH complex component strumpellin or the ER morphogen REEP1. Mutations in spastin, strumpellin, or REEP1 cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a disease characterized by axonal degeneration. Our results implicate failure of the ER-endosome contact process in axonopathy and suggest that coupling of ER-mediated endosomal tubule fission to lysosome function links different classes of HSP proteins, previously considered functionally distinct, into a unifying pathway for axonal degeneration.

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    04/07/17 | Teaching old dyes new tricks: biological probes built from fluoresceins and rhodamines.
    Lavis LD
    Annual Review of Biochemistry. 2017 Apr 07;86:825-43. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-061516-044839

    Small-molecule fluorophores, such as fluorescein and rhodamine derivatives, are critical tools in modern biochemical and biological research. The field of chemical dyes is old; colored molecules were first discovered in the 1800s, and the fluorescein and rhodamine scaffolds have been known for over a century. Nevertheless, there has been a renaissance in using these dyes to create tools for biochemistry and biology. The application of modern chemistry, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and optical physics to these old structures enables and drives the development of novel, sophisticated fluorescent dyes. This critical review focuses on an important example of chemical biology-the melding of old and new chemical knowledge-leading to useful molecules for advanced biochemical and biological experiments. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 86 is June 20, 2017. Please see for revised estimates.

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    04/06/17 | Diverse protocols for correlative super-resolution fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy of chemically fixed samples.
    Kopek BG, Paez-Segala MG, Shtengel G, Sochacki KA, Sun MG, Wang Y, Xu CS, Van Engelenburg SB, Taraska JW, Looger LL, Hess HF
    Nature Protocols. 2017 May;12(5):916-946. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2017.017

    Our groups have recently developed related approaches for sample preparation for super-resolution imaging within endogenous cellular environments using correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). Four distinct techniques for preparing and acquiring super-resolution CLEM data sets for aldehyde-fixed specimens are provided, including Tokuyasu cryosectioning, whole-cell mount, cell unroofing and platinum replication, and resin embedding and sectioning. The choice of the best protocol for a given application depends on a number of criteria that are discussed in detail. Tokuyasu cryosectioning is relatively rapid but is limited to small, delicate specimens. Whole-cell mount has the simplest sample preparation but is restricted to surface structures. Cell unroofing and platinum replication creates high-contrast, 3D images of the cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane but is more challenging than whole-cell mount. Resin embedding permits serial sectioning of large samples but is limited to osmium-resistant probes, and is technically difficult. Expected results from these protocols include super-resolution localization (∼10-50 nm) of fluorescent targets within the context of electron microscopy ultrastructure, which can help address cell biological questions. These protocols can be completed in 2-7 d, are compatible with a number of super-resolution imaging protocols, and are broadly applicable across biology.

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    04/05/17 | PreMosa: Extracting 2D surfaces from 3D microscopy mosaics.
    Blasse C, Saalfeld S, Etournay R, Sagner A, Eaton S, Myers EW
    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 2017 Apr 05;33(16):2563-9. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btx195

    Motivation: A significant focus of biological research is to understand the development, organization and function of tissues. A particularly productive area of study is on single layer epithelial tissues in which the adherence junctions of cells form a 2D manifold that is fluorescently labeled. Given the size of the tissue, a microscope must collect a mosaic of overlapping 3D stacks encompassing the stained surface. Downstream interpretation is greatly simplified by preprocessing such a dataset as follows: (a) extracting and mapping the stained manifold in each stack into a single 2D projection plane, (b) correcting uneven illumination artifacts, (c) stitching the mosaic planes into a single, large 2D image, and (d) adjusting the contrast.

    Results: We have developed PreMosa, an efficient, fully automatic pipeline to perform the four preprocessing tasks above resulting in a single 2D image of the stained manifold across which contrast is optimized and illumination is even. Notable features are as follows. First, the 2D projection step employs a specially developed algorithm that actually finds the manifold in the stack based on maximizing contrast, intensity and smoothness. Second, the projection step comes first, implying all subsequent tasks are more rapidly solved in 2D. And last, the mosaic melding employs an algorithm that globally adjusts contrasts amongst the 2D tiles so as to produce a seamless, high-contrast image. We conclude with an evaluation using ground-truth datasets and present results on datasets from Drosophila melanogaster wings and Schmidtae mediterranea ciliary components.

    Availability: PreMosa is available under


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    Rubin LabReiser LabFly Functional Connectome
    04/05/17 | The emergence of directional selectivity in the visual motion pathway of Drosophila.
    Strother JA, Wu S, Wong AM, Nern A, Rogers EM, Le JQ, Rubin GM, Reiser MB
    Neuron. 2017 Apr 05;94(1):168-182.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.03.010

    The perception of visual motion is critical for animal navigation, and flies are a prominent model system for exploring this neural computation. In Drosophila, the T4 cells of the medulla are directionally selective and necessary for ON motion behavioral responses. To examine the emergence of directional selectivity, we developed genetic driver lines for the neuron types with the most synapses onto T4 cells. Using calcium imaging, we found that these neuron types are not directionally selective and that selectivity arises in the T4 dendrites. By silencing each input neuron type, we identified which neurons are necessary for T4 directional selectivity and ON motion behavioral responses. We then determined the sign of the connections between these neurons and T4 cells using neuronal photoactivation. Our results indicate a computational architecture for motion detection that is a hybrid of classic theoretical models.

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    04/04/17 | Optical measurement of receptor tyrosine kinase oligomerization on live cells.
    Chung I
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes. 2017 Apr 04;1859(9):1436-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2017.03.026

    Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are important cell surface receptors that transduce extracellular signals across the plasma membrane. The traditional view of how these receptors function is that ligand binding to the extracellular domains acts as a master-switch that enables receptor monomers to dimerize and subsequently trans-phosphorylate each other on their intracellular domains. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that receptor oligomerization is not merely a consequence of ligand binding, but is instead part of a complex process responsible for regulation of receptor activation. Importantly, the oligomerization dynamics and subsequent activation of these receptors are affected by other cellular components, such as cytoskeletal machineries and cell membrane lipid characteristics. Thus receptor activation is not an isolated molecular event mediated by the ligand-receptor interaction, but instead involves orchestrated interactions between the receptors and other cellular components. Measuring receptor oligomerization dynamics on live cells can yield important insights into the characteristics of these interactions. Therefore, it is imperative to develop techniques that can probe receptor movements on the plasma membrane with optimal temporal and spatial resolutions. Various microscopic techniques have been used for this purpose. Optical techniques including single molecule tracking (SMT) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) measure receptor diffusion on live cells. Receptor-receptor interactions can also be assessed by detecting Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescently-labeled receptors situated in close proximity or by counting the number of receptors within a diffraction limited fluorescence spot (stepwise bleaching). This review will describe recent developments of optical techniques that have been used to study receptor oligomerization on living cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Interactions between membrane receptors in cellular membranes edited by Kalina Hristova.

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    04/03/17 | Efficient method for whole-cell recording in freely moving rodents using ultraviolet-cured collar-based pipette stabilization.
    Lee D, Lee AK
    Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. 2017 Apr 03;2017(4):pdb.prot095810. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot095810

    Whole-cell recording is a key technique for investigating synaptic and cellular mechanisms underlying various brain functions. However, because of its high sensitivity to mechanical disturbances, applying the whole-cell recording method to freely moving animals has been challenging. Here, we describe a technique for obtaining such recordings in freely moving, drug-free animals with a high success rate. This technique involves three major steps: obtaining a whole-cell recording from awake head-fixed animals, reliable and efficient stabilization of the pipette with respect to the animal's head using an ultraviolet (UV)-transparent collar and UV-cured adhesive, and rapid release of the animal from head fixation without loss of the recording. This technique has been successfully applied to obtain intracellular recordings from the hippocampus of freely moving rats and mice exploring a spatial environment, and should be generally applicable to other brain areas in animals engaged in a variety of natural behaviors.

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