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177 Janelia Publications

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    04/04/19 | CHP1 regulates compartmentalized glycerolipid synthesis by activating GPAT4.
    Zhu XG, Nicholson Puthenveedu S, Shen Y, La K, Ozlu C, Wang T, Klompstra D, Gultekin Y, Chi J, Fidelin J, Peng T, Molina H, Hang HC, Min W, Birsoy K
    Molecular Cell. 2019 Apr 4;74(1):45-58.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.01.037

    Cells require a constant supply of fatty acids to survive and proliferate. Fatty acids incorporate into membrane and storage glycerolipids through a series of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) enzymes, but how these enzymes are regulated is not well understood. Here, using a combination of CRISPR-based genetic screens and unbiased lipidomics, we identified calcineurin B homologous protein 1 (CHP1) as a major regulator of ER glycerolipid synthesis. Loss of CHP1 severely reduces fatty acid incorporation and storage in mammalian cells and invertebrates. Mechanistically, CHP1 binds and activates GPAT4, which catalyzes the initial rate-limiting step in glycerolipid synthesis. GPAT4 activity requires CHP1 to be N-myristoylated, forming a key molecular interface between the two proteins. Interestingly, upon CHP1 loss, the peroxisomal enzyme, GNPAT, partially compensates for the loss of ER lipid synthesis, enabling cell proliferation. Thus, our work identifies a conserved regulator of glycerolipid metabolism and reveals plasticity in lipid synthesis of proliferating cells.

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    04/04/19 | Thirst regulates motivated behavior through modulation of brainwide neural population dynamics.
    Allen WE, Chen MZ, Pichamoorthy N, Tien RH, Pachitariu M, Luo L, Deisseroth K
    Science. 2019 Apr 04;364(6437):253. doi: 10.1126/science.aav3932

    Physiological needs produce motivational drives, such as thirst and hunger, that regulate behaviors essential to survival. Hypothalamic neurons sense these needs and must coordinate relevant brainwide neuronal activity to produce the appropriate behavior. We studied dynamics from ~24,000 neurons in 34 brain regions during thirst-motivated choice behavior, as mice consumed water and became sated. Water-predicting sensory cues elicited activity that rapidly spread throughout the brain of thirsty animals. These dynamics were gated by a brainwide mode of population activity that encoded motivational state. Focal optogenetic activation of hypothalamic thirst-sensing neurons, after satiation, returned global activity to the pre-satiation state. Thus, motivational states specify initial conditions determining how a brainwide dynamical system transforms sensory input into behavioral output.

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    04/01/19 | A lipid-based partitioning mechanism for selective incorporation of proteins into membranes of HIV particles.
    Sengupta P, Seo AY, Pasolli HA, Song YE, Johnson M, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Nature Cell Biology. 2019 Apr;21(4):452-461. doi: 10.1038/s41556-019-0300-y

    Particles that bud off from the cell surface, including viruses and microvesicles, typically have a unique membrane protein composition distinct from that of the originating plasma membrane. This selective protein composition enables viruses to evade the immune response and infect other cells. But how membrane proteins sort into budding viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains unclear. Proteins could passively distribute into HIV-assembly-site membranes producing compositions resembling pre-existing plasma-membrane domains. Here, we demonstrate that proteins instead sort actively into HIV-assembly-site membranes, generating compositions enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids that undergo continuous remodelling. Proteins are recruited into and removed from the HIV assembly site through lipid-based partitioning, initiated by oligomerization of the HIV structural protein Gag. Changes in membrane curvature at the assembly site further amplify this sorting process. Thus, a lipid-based sorting mechanism, aided by increasing membrane curvature, generates the unique membrane composition of the HIV surface.

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    04/01/19 | Computational processing of neural recordings from calcium imaging data.
    Stringer C, Pachitariu M
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2019 Apr ;55:22-31. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.005

    Electrophysiology has long been the workhorse of neuroscience, allowing scientists to record with millisecond precision the action potentials generated by neurons in vivo. Recently, calcium imaging of fluorescent indicators has emerged as a powerful alternative. This technique has its own strengths and weaknesses and unique data processing problems and interpretation confounds. Here we review the computational methods that convert raw calcium movies to estimates of single neuron spike times with minimal human supervision. By computationally addressing the weaknesses of calcium imaging, these methods hold the promise of significantly improving data quality. We also introduce a new metric to evaluate the output of these processing pipelines, which is based on the cluster isolation distance routinely used in electrophysiology.

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    04/01/19 | Multimodal in vivo brain electrophysiology with integrated glass microelectrodes.
    Hunt DL, Lai C, Smith RD, Lee AK, Harris TD, Barbic M
    Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2019 Apr 01;3(9):741-53. doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0373-8

    Electrophysiology is the most used approach for the collection of functional data in basic and translational neuroscience, but it is typically limited to either intracellular or extracellular recordings. The integration of multiple physiological modalities for the routine acquisition of multimodal data with microelectrodes could be useful for biomedical applications, yet this has been challenging owing to incompatibilities of fabrication methods. Here, we present a suite of glass pipettes with integrated microelectrodes for the simultaneous acquisition of multimodal intracellular and extracellular information in vivo, electrochemistry assessments, and optogenetic perturbations of neural activity. We used the integrated devices to acquire multimodal signals from the CA1 region of the hippocampus in mice and rats, and show that these data can serve as ground-truth validation for the performance of spike-sorting algorithms. The microdevices are applicable for basic and translational neurobiology, and for the development of next-generation brain-machine interfaces.

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    03/29/19 | Multiplex imaging relates quantal glutamate release to presynaptic Ca homeostasis at multiple synapses in situ.
    Jensen TP, Zheng K, Cole N, Marvin JS, Looger LL, Rusakov DA
    Nature Communications. 2019 03 29;10(1):1414. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09216-8

    Information processing by brain circuits depends on Ca-dependent, stochastic release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Whilst optical glutamate sensors have enabled detection of synaptic discharges, understanding presynaptic machinery requires simultaneous readout of glutamate release and nanomolar presynaptic Ca in situ. Here, we find that the fluorescence lifetime of the red-shifted Ca indicator Cal-590 is Ca-sensitive in the nanomolar range, and employ it in combination with green glutamate sensors to relate quantal neurotransmission to presynaptic Ca kinetics. Multiplexed imaging of individual and multiple synapses in identified axonal circuits reveals that glutamate release efficacy, but not its short-term plasticity, varies with time-dependent fluctuations in presynaptic resting Ca or spike-evoked Ca entry. Within individual presynaptic boutons, we find no nanoscopic co-localisation of evoked presynaptic Ca entry with the prevalent glutamate release site, suggesting loose coupling between the two. The approach enables a better understanding of release machinery at central synapses.

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    Pavlopoulos Lab
    03/27/19 | Attachment of the blastoderm to the vitelline envelope affects gastrulation of insects.
    Muenster S, Jain A, Mietke A, Pavlopoulos A, Grill SW, Tomancak P
    Nature. 2019 Mar 27:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1044-3

    During gastrulation, physical forces reshape the simple embryonic tissue to form the complex body plans of multicellular organisms. These forces often cause large-scale asymmetric movements of the embryonic tissue. In many embryos, the gastrulating tissue is surrounded by a rigid protective shell. Although it is well-recognized that gastrulation movements depend on forces that are generated by tissue-intrinsic contractility, it is not known whether interactions between the tissue and the protective shell provide additional forces that affect gastrulation. Here we show that a particular part of the blastoderm tissue of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) tightly adheres in a temporally coordinated manner to the vitelline envelope that surrounds the embryo. This attachment generates an additional force that counteracts tissue-intrinsic contractile forces to create asymmetric tissue movements. This localized attachment depends on an αPS2 integrin (inflated), and the knockdown of this integrin leads to a gastrulation phenotype that is consistent with complete loss of attachment. Furthermore, analysis of another integrin (the αPS3 integrin, scab) in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) suggests that gastrulation in this organism also relies on adhesion between the blastoderm and the vitelline envelope. Our findings reveal a conserved mechanism through which the spatiotemporal pattern of tissue adhesion to the vitelline envelope provides controllable, counteracting forces that shape gastrulation movements in insects.

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    03/26/19 | Neurotransmitter identity is acquired in a lineage-restricted manner in the Drosophila CNS.
    Lacin H, Chen H, Long X, Singer RH, Lee T, Truman JW
    Elife. 2019 Mar 26;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43701

    The vast majority of the adult fly ventral nerve cord is composed of 34 hemilineages, which are clusters of lineally related neurons. Neurons in these hemilineages use one of the three fast-acting neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, GABA, or glutamate) for communication. We generated a comprehensive neurotransmitter usage map for the entire ventral nerve cord. We did not find any cases of neurons using more than one neurotransmitter, but found that the acetylcholine specific gene ChAT is transcribed in many glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, but these transcripts typically do not leave the nucleus and are not translated. Importantly, our work uncovered a simple rule: All neurons within a hemilineage use the same neurotransmitter. Thus, neurotransmitter identity is acquired at the stem cell level. Our detailed transmitter- usage/lineage identity map will be a great resource for studying the developmental basis of behavior and deciphering how neuronal circuits function to regulate behavior.

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    03/22/19 | Interfacial actin protrusions mechanically enhance killing by cytotoxic T cells.
    Tamzalit F, Wang MS, Jin W, Tello-Lafoz M, Boyko V, Heddleston JM, Black CT, Kam LC, Huse M
    Science Immunology. 2019 Mar 22;4(33):. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aav5445

    Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) kill by forming immunological synapses with target cells and secreting toxic proteases and the pore-forming protein perforin into the intercellular space. Immunological synapses are highly dynamic structures that boost perforin activity by applying mechanical force against the target cell. Here, we used high-resolution imaging and microfabrication to investigate how CTLs exert synaptic forces and coordinate their mechanical output with perforin secretion. Using micropatterned stimulatory substrates that enable synapse growth in three dimensions, we found that perforin release occurs at the base of actin-rich protrusions that extend from central and intermediate locations within the synapse. These protrusions, which depended on the cytoskeletal regulator WASP and the Arp2/3 actin nucleation complex, were required for synaptic force exertion and efficient killing. They also mediated physical deformation of the target cell surface during CTL-target cell interactions. Our results reveal the mechanical basis of cellular cytotoxicity and highlight the functional importance of dynamic, three-dimensional architecture in immune cell-cell interfaces.

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    03/01/19 | Metabolic regulation of developmental cell cycles and zygotic transcription.
    Djabrayan NJ, Smits CM, Krajnc M, Stern T, Yamada S, Lemon WC, Keller PJ, Rushlow CA, Shvartsman SY
    Current Biology. 2019 Mar 01;29(7):1193-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.028

    The thirteen nuclear cleavages that give rise to the Drosophila blastoderm are some of the fastest known cell cycles. Surprisingly, the fertilized egg is provided with at most one-third of the dNTPs needed to complete the thirteen rounds of DNA replication. The rest must be synthesized by the embryo, concurrent with cleavage divisions. What is the reason for the limited supply of DNA building blocks? We propose that frugal control of dNTP synthesis contributes to the well-characterized deceleration of the cleavage cycles and is needed for robust accumulation of zygotic gene products. In support of this model, we demonstrate that when the levels of dNTPs are abnormally high, nuclear cleavages fail to sufficiently decelerate, the levels of zygotic transcription are dramatically reduced, and the embryo catastrophically fails early in gastrulation. Our work reveals a direct connection between metabolism, the cell cycle, and zygotic transcription.

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