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187 Janelia Publications

Showing 151-160 of 187 results
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    03/28/17 | Heuristic rules underlying dragonfly prey selection and interception.
    Lin H, Leonardo A
    Current Biology : CB. 2017 Mar 28;27(8):1124-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.010

    Animals use rules to initiate behaviors. Such rules are often described as triggers that determine when behavior begins. However, although less explored, these selection rules are also an opportunity to establish sensorimotor constraints that influence how the behavior ends. These constraints may be particularly significant in influencing success in prey capture. Here we explore this in dragonfly prey interception. We found that in the moments leading up to takeoff, perched dragonflies employ a series of sensorimotor rules that determine the time of takeoff and increase the probability of successful capture. First, the dragonfly makes a head saccade followed by smooth pursuit movements to orient its direction-of-gaze at potential prey. Second, the dragonfly assesses whether the prey's angular size and speed co-vary within a privileged range. Finally, the dragonfly times the moment of its takeoff to a prediction of when the prey will cross the zenith. Each of these processes serves a purpose. The angular size-speed criteria biases interception flights to catchable prey, while the head movements and the predictive takeoff ensure flights begin with the prey visually fixated and directly overhead-the key parameters that underlie interception steering. Prey that do not elicit takeoff generally fail at least one of the criterion, and the loss of prey fixation or overhead positioning during flight is strongly correlated with terminated flights. Thus from an abundance of potential targets, the dragonfly selects a stereotyped set of takeoff conditions based on the prey and body states most likely to end in successful capture.

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    03/16/17 | Mechanism of ribosome rescue by ArfA and RF2.
    Demo G, Svidritskiy E, Madireddy R, Diaz-Avalos R, Grant T, Grigorieff N, Sousa D, Korostelev AA
    eLife. 2017 Mar 16;6:e23687. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23687

    ArfA rescues ribosomes stalled on truncated mRNAs by recruiting release factor RF2, which normally binds stop codons to catalyze peptide release. We report two 3.2-Å resolution cryo-EM structures - determined from a single sample - of the 70S ribosome with ArfA•RF2 in the A site. In both states, the ArfA C-terminus occupies the mRNA tunnel downstream of the A site. One state contains a compact inactive RF2 conformation. Ordering of the ArfA N-terminus in the second state rearranges RF2 into an extended conformation that docks the catalytic GGQ motif into the peptidyl-transferase center. Our work thus reveals the structural dynamics of ribosome rescue. The structures demonstrate how ArfA "senses" the vacant mRNA tunnel and activates RF2 to mediate peptide release without a stop codon, allowing stalled ribosomes to be recycled.

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    Looger Lab
    03/15/17 | Confirmation of five novel susceptibility loci for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and integrated network analysis of 82 SLE susceptibility loci.
    Molineros JE, Yang W, Zhou X, Sun C, Okada Y, Zhang H, Heng Chua K, Lau Y, Kochi Y, Suzuki A, Yamamoto K, Ma J, Bang S, Lee H, Kim K, Bae S, Zhang H, Shen N, Looger LL, Nath SK
    Human Molecular Genetics. 2017 Mar 15;26(6):1205-1216. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx026

    We recently identified ten novel SLE susceptibility loci in Asians and uncovered several additional suggestive loci requiring further validation. This study aimed to replicate five of these suggestive loci in a Han Chinese cohort from Hong Kong, followed by meta-analysis (11,656 cases and 23,968 controls) on previously reported Asian and European populations, and to perform bioinformatic analyses on all 82 reported SLE loci to identify shared regulatory signatures. We performed a battery of analyses for these five loci, as well as joint analyses on all 82 SLE loci. All five loci passed genome-wide significance: MYNN (rs10936599, Pmeta = 1.92 × 10-13, OR = 1.14), ATG16L2 (rs11235604, Pmeta = 8.87 × 10 -12, OR = 0.78), CCL22 (rs223881, Pmeta = 5.87 × 10-16, OR = 0.87), ANKS1A (rs2762340, Pmeta = 4.93 × 10-15, OR = 0.87) and RNASEH2C (rs1308020, Pmeta = 2.96 × 10-19, OR = 0.84) and co-located with annotated gene regulatory elements. The novel loci share genetic signatures with other reported SLE loci, including effects on gene expression, transcription factor binding, and epigenetic characteristics. Most (56%) of the correlated (r2 > 0.8) SNPs from the 82 SLE loci were implicated in differential expression (9.81 × 10-198 < P < 5 × 10-3) of cis-genes. Transcription factor binding sites for p53, MEF2A and E2F1 were significantly (P < 0.05) over-represented in SLE loci, consistent with apoptosis playing a critical role in SLE. Enrichment analysis revealed common pathways, gene ontology, protein domains, and cell type-specific expression. In summary, we provide evidence of five novel SLE susceptibility loci. Integrated bioinformatics using all 82 loci revealed that SLE susceptibility loci share many gene regulatory features, suggestive of conserved mechanisms of SLE etiopathogenesis.

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    03/15/17 | Quantifying transcription factor binding dynamics at the single-molecule level in live cells.
    Presman DM, Ball DA, Paakinaho V, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Karpova TS, Hager GL
    Methods (San Diego, Calif.). 2017 Mar 15:. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2017.03.014

    Progressive, technological achievements in the quantitative fluorescence microscopy field are allowing researches from many different areas to start unraveling the dynamic intricacies of biological processes inside living cells. From super-resolution microscopy techniques to tracking of individual proteins, fluorescence microscopy is changing our perspective on how the cell works. Fortunately, a growing number of research groups are exploring single-molecule studies in living cells. However, no clear consensus exists on several key aspects of the technique such as image acquisition conditions, or analysis of the obtained data. Here, we describe a detailed approach to perform single-molecule tracking (SMT) of transcription factors in living cells to obtain key binding characteristics, namely their residence time and bound fractions. We discuss different types of fluorophores, labeling density, microscope, cameras, data acquisition, and data analysis. Using the glucocorticoid receptor as a model transcription factor, we compared alternate tags (GFP, mEOS, HaloTag, SNAP-tag, CLIP-tag) for potential multicolor applications. We also examine different methods to extract the dissociation rates and compare them with simulated data. Finally, we discuss several challenges that this exciting technique still faces.

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    03/13/17 | Stochastic protein labeling enables long-term single molecule observation in vivo.
    Liu H, Dong P, Ioannou MS, Li L, Shea J, Pasolli HA, Grimm JB, Rivlin PK, Lavis LD, Koyama M, Liu Z
    bioRxiv. 2017 Mar 13:. doi: 10.1101/116186

    Our ability to unambiguously image and track individual molecules in live cells is limited by packing of multiple copies of labeled molecules within the resolution limit. Here we devise a universal genetic strategy to precisely control protein copy number in a cell. This system has a dynamic titration range of more than 10,000 fold, enabling sparse labeling of proteins expressed at widely different levels. Combined with fluorescence signal amplification tags, this system extends the duration of automated single-molecule tracking by 2 orders of magnitude. We demonstrate long-term imaging of synaptic vesicle dynamics in cultured neurons as well as in live zebrafish. We found that axon initial segment utilizes a waterfall mechanism gating synaptic vesicle transport polarity by promoting anterograde transport processivity. Long-time observation also reveals that transcription factor Sox2 samples clustered binding sites in spatially-restricted sub-nuclear regions, suggesting that topological structures in the nucleus shape local gene activities by a sequestering mechanism. This strategy thus greatly expands the spatiotemporal length scales of live-cell single-molecule measurements for a quantitative understanding of complex control of molecular dynamics in vivo.

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    03/09/17 | Genetic and transgenic reagents for Drosophila simulans, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba, D. santomea and D. virilis.
    Stern DL, Crocker J, Ding Y, Frankel N, Kappes G, Kim E, Kuzmickas R, Lemire A, Mast JD, Picard S
    G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 2017 Mar 09;7(4):1339-47. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.038885

    Species of the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup, including the species D. simulans, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba, and D. santomea, have long served as model systems for studying evolution. Studies in these species have been limited, however, by a paucity of genetic and transgenic reagents. Here we describe a collection of transgenic and genetic strains generated to facilitate genetic studies within and between these species. We have generated many strains of each species containing mapped piggyBac transposons including an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein gene expressed in the eyes and a phiC31 attP site-specific integration site. We have tested a subset of these lines for integration efficiency and reporter gene expression levels. We have also generated a smaller collection of other lines expressing other genetically encoded fluorescent molecules in the eyes and a number of other transgenic reagents that will be useful for functional studies in these species. In addition, we have mapped the insertion locations of 58 transposable elements in D. virilis that will be useful for genetic mapping studies.

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    Singer Lab
    03/07/17 | Imaging mRNA and protein interactions within neurons.
    Eliscovich C, Shenoy SM, Singer RH
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 Mar 07;114(10):E1875-E1884. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1621440114

    RNA-protein interactions are essential for proper gene expression regulation, particularly in neurons with unique spatial constraints. Currently, these interactions are defined biochemically, but a method is needed to evaluate them quantitatively within morphological context. Colocalization of two-color labels using wide-field microscopy is a method to infer these interactions. However, because of chromatic aberrations in the objective lens, this approach lacks the resolution to determine whether two molecules are physically in contact or simply nearby by chance. Here, we developed a robust super registration methodology that corrected the chromatic aberration across the entire image field to within 10 nm, which is capable of determining whether two molecules are physically interacting or simply in proximity by random chance. We applied this approach to image single-molecule FISH in combination with immunofluorescence (smFISH-IF) and determined whether the association between an mRNA and binding protein(s) within a neuron was significant or accidental. We evaluated several mRNA-binding proteins identified from RNA pulldown assays to determine which of these exhibit bona fide interactions. Surprisingly, many known mRNA-binding proteins did not bind the mRNA in situ, indicating that adventitious interactions are significant using existing technology. This method provides an ability to evaluate two-color registration compatible with the scale of molecular interactions.

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    03/06/17 | Moonwalker descending neurons mediate visually evoked retreat in Drosophila.
    Sen R, Wu M, Branson K, Robie A, Rubin GM, Dickson BJ
    Current Biology : CB. 2017 Mar 6;27(5):766-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.008

    Insects, like most animals, tend to steer away from imminent threats [1-7]. Drosophila melanogaster, for example, generally initiate an escape take-off in response to a looming visual stimulus, mimicking a potential predator [8]. The escape response to a visual threat is, however, flexible [9-12] and can alternatively consist of walking backward away from the perceived threat [11], which may be a more effective response to ambush predators such as nymphal praying mantids [7]. Flexibility in escape behavior may also add an element of unpredictability that makes it difficult for predators to anticipate or learn the prey's likely response [3-6]. Whereas the fly's escape jump has been well studied [8, 9, 13-18], the neuronal underpinnings of evasive walking remain largely unexplored. We previously reported the identification of a cluster of descending neurons-the moonwalker descending neurons (MDNs)-the activity of which is necessary and sufficient to trigger backward walking [19], as well as a population of visual projection neurons-the lobula columnar 16 (LC16) cells-that respond to looming visual stimuli and elicit backward walking and turning [11]. Given the similarity of their activation phenotypes, we hypothesized that LC16 neurons induce backward walking via MDNs and that turning while walking backward might reflect asymmetric activation of the left and right MDNs. Here, we present data from functional imaging, behavioral epistasis, and unilateral activation experiments that support these hypotheses. We conclude that LC16 and MDNs are critical components of the neural circuit that transduces threatening visual stimuli into directional locomotor output.

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    03/03/17 | Zyxin regulates endothelial von Willebrand factor secretion by reorganizing actin filaments around exocytic granules.
    Han X, Li P, Yang Z, Huang X, Wei G, Sun Y, Kang X, Hu X, Deng Q, Chen L, He A, Huo Y, Li D, Betzig E, Luo J
    Nature Communications. 2017 Mar 03;8:14639. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14639

    Endothelial exocytosis of Weibel-Palade body (WPB) is one of the first lines of defence against vascular injury. However, the mechanisms that control WPB exocytosis in the final stages (including the docking, priming and fusion of granules) are poorly understood. Here we show that the focal adhesion protein zyxin is crucial in this process. Zyxin downregulation inhibits the secretion of von Willebrand factor (VWF), the most abundant cargo in WPBs, from human primary endothelial cells (ECs) induced by cAMP agonists. Zyxin-deficient mice exhibit impaired epinephrine-stimulated VWF release, prolonged bleeding time and thrombosis, largely due to defective endothelial secretion of VWF. Using live-cell super-resolution microscopy, we visualize previously unappreciated reorganization of pre-existing actin filaments around WPBs before fusion, dependent on zyxin and an interaction with the actin crosslinker α-actinin. Our findings identify zyxin as a physiological regulator of endothelial exocytosis through reorganizing local actin network in the final stage of exocytosis.

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    03/01/17 | A new brain dopamine deficient Drosophila and its pharmacological and genetic rescue.
    Cichewicz K, Garren EJ, Adiele C, Aso Y, Wang Z, Wu M, Birman S, Rubin GM, Hirsh J
    Genes, Brain, and Behavior. 2017 Mar.01 ;16(3):394-403. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12353

    Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter with conserved behavioral roles between invertebrate and vertebrate animals. In addition to its neural functions, in insects DA is a critical substrate for cuticle pigmentation and hardening. Drosophila tyrosine hydroxylase (DTH) is the rate limiting enzyme for DA biosynthesis. Viable brain DA deficient flies were previously generated using tissue selective GAL4-UAS binary expression rescue of a DTH null mutation and these flies show specific behavioral impairments. To circumvent the limitations of rescue via binary expression, here we achieve rescue utilizing genomically integrated mutant DTH. As expected, our DA deficient flies have no detectable DTH or DA in the brain, and show reduced locomotor activity. This deficit can be rescued by L-DOPA/carbidopa feeding, similar to human Parkinson's disease treatment. Genetic rescue via GAL4/UAS-DTH was also successful, although this required the generation of a new UAS-DTH1 transgene devoid of most untranslated regions, since existing UAS-DTH transgenes express in the brain without a Gal4 driver via endogenous regulatory elements. A surprising finding of our newly constructed UAS-DTH1m is that it expresses DTH at an undetectable level when regulated by dopaminergic GAL4 drivers even when fully rescuing DA, indicating that DTH immunostaining is not necessarily a valid marker for DA expression. This finding necessitated optimizing DA immunohistochemistry, revealing details of DA innervation to the mushroom body and the central complex. When DA rescue is limited to specific DA neurons, DA does not diffuse beyond the DTH-expressing terminals, such that DA signaling can be limited to very specific brain regions.

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