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177 Janelia Publications

Showing 61-70 of 177 results
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    08/03/19 | Response to "Fallacies of mice experiments".
    Gao Z, Thomas AM, Economo MN, Abrego AM, Svoboda K, De Zeeuw CI, Li N
    Neuroinformatics. 2019 Aug 03:. doi: 10.1007/s12021-019-09433-y

    In a recent Editorial, De Schutter commented on our recent study on the roles of a cortico-cerebellar loop in motor planning in mice (De Schutter 2019, Neuroinformatics, 17, 181-183, Gao et al. 2018, Nature, 563, 113-116). Two issues were raised. First, De Schutter questions the involvement of the fastigial nucleus in motor planning, rather than the dentate nucleus, given previous anatomical studies in non-human primates. Second, De Schutter suggests that our study design did not delineate different components of the behavior and the fastigial nucleus might play roles in sensory discrimination rather than motor planning. These comments are based on anatomical studies in other species and homology-based arguments and ignore key anatomical data and neurophysiological experiments from our study. Here we outline our interpretation of existing data and point out gaps in knowledge where future studies are needed.

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    The palette of tools for stimulation and regulation of neural activity is continually expanding. One of the new methods being introduced is magnetogenetics, where mechano-sensitive and thermo-sensitive ion channels are genetically engineered to be closely coupled to the iron-storage protein ferritin. Such genetic constructs could provide a powerful new way of non-invasively activating ion channels in-vivo using external magnetic fields that easily penetrate biological tissue. Initial reports that introduced this new technology have sparked a vigorous debate on the plausibility of physical mechanisms of ion channel activation by means of external magnetic fields. I argue that the initial criticisms leveled against magnetogenetics as being physically implausible were possibly based on the overly simplistic and unnecessarily pessimistic assumptions about the magnetic spin configurations of iron in ferritin protein. Additionally, all the possible magnetic-field-based mechanisms of ion channel activation in magnetogenetics might not have been fully considered. I present and propose several new magneto-mechanical and magneto-thermal mechanisms of ion channel activation by iron-loaded ferritin protein that may elucidate and clarify some of the mysteries that presently challenge our understanding of the reported biological experiments. Finally, I present some additional puzzles that will require further theoretical and experimental investigation.

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    08/01/19 | An actin-based protrusion originating from a podosome-enriched region initiates macrophage fusion.
    Faust JJ, Balabiyev A, Heddleston JM, Podolnikova NP, Baluch DP, Chew T, Ugarova TP
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2019 Aug 1;30(17):2254-67. doi: 10.1101/538314

    Macrophage fusion resulting in the formation of multinucleated giant cells occurs in a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, yet the mechanism responsible for initiating macrophage fusion is unknown. Here, we used live cell imaging to show that actin-based protrusions at the leading edge initiate macrophage fusion. Phase contrast video microscopy demonstrated that in the majority of events, short protrusions (3 ± 1 μm) between two closely apposed cells initiated fusion, but occasionally we observed long protrusions (16 ± 7 μm). Using macrophages isolated from LifeAct mice and imaging with lattice light sheet microscopy, we further found that fusion-competent actin-based protrusions formed at sites enriched in podosomes. Inducing fusion in mixed populations of GFP- and mRFP-LifeAct macrophages showed rapid spatial overlap between GFP and RFP signal at the site of fusion. Cytochalasin B strongly reduced fusion and when rare fusion events occurred, protrusions were not observed. Fusion of macrophages deficient in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and Cdc42, key molecules involved in the formation of actin-based protrusions and podosomes, was also impaired both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, inhibiting the activity of the Arp2/3 complex decreased fusion and podosome formation. Together these data indicate that an actin-based protrusion formed at the leading edge macrophage fusion.

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    08/01/19 | Comparing 3D ultrastructure of presynaptic and postsynaptic mitochondria.
    Delgado T, Petralia RS, Freeman DW, Sedlacek M, Wang Y, Brenowitz SD, Sheu S, Gu JW, Kapogiannis D, Mattson MP, Yao PJ
    Biology Open. 2019 Aug 01;8(8):. doi: 10.1242/bio.044834

    Serial-section electron microscopy such as FIB-SEM (focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy) has become an important tool for neuroscientists to trace the trajectories and global architecture of neural circuits in the brain, as well as to visualize the 3D ultrastructure of cellular organelles in neurons. In this study, we examined 3D features of mitochondria in electron microscope images generated from serial sections of four regions of mouse brains: nucleus accumbens (NA), hippocampal CA1, somatosensory cortex and dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN). We compared mitochondria in the presynaptic terminals to those in the postsynaptic/dendritic compartments, and we focused on the shape and size of mitochondria. A common feature of mitochondria among the four brain regions is that presynaptic mitochondria generally are small and short, and most of them do not extend beyond presynaptic terminals. In contrast, the majority of postsynaptic/dendritic mitochondria are large and many of them spread through significant portions of the dendrites. Comparing among the brain areas, the cerebral cortex and DCN have even larger postsynaptic/dendritic mitochondria than the NA and CA1. Our analysis reveals that mitochondria in neurons are differentially sized and arranged according to their subcellular locations, suggesting a spatial organizing principle of mitochondria at the synapse.

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    08/01/19 | Inaccurate secondary structure predictions often indicate protein fold switching.
    Mishra S, Looger LL, Porter LL
    Protein Science. 2019 Aug;28(9):1487-93. doi: 10.1002/pro.3664

    Although most proteins conform to the classical one-structure/one-function paradigm, an increasing number of proteins with dual structures and functions have been discovered. In response to cellular stimuli, such proteins undergo structural changes sufficiently dramatic to remodel even their secondary structures and domain organization. This "fold-switching" capability fosters protein multi-functionality, enabling cells to establish tight control over various biochemical processes. Accurate predictions of fold-switching proteins could both suggest underlying mechanisms for uncharacterized biological processes and reveal potential drug targets. Recently, we developed a prediction method for fold-switching proteins using structure-based thermodynamic calculations and discrepancies between predicted and experimentally determined protein secondary structure. Here we seek to leverage the negative information found in these secondary structure prediction discrepancies. To do this, we quantified secondary structure prediction accuracies of 192 known fold-switching regions (FSRs) within solved protein structures found in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). We find that the secondary structure prediction accuracies for these FSRs vary widely. Inaccurate secondary structure predictions are strongly associated with fold-switching proteins compared to equally long segments of non-fold-switching proteins selected at random. These inaccurate predictions are enriched in helix-to-strand and strand-to-coil discrepancies. Finally, we find that most proteins with inaccurate secondary structure predictions are underrepresented in the PDB compared with their alternatively folded cognates, suggesting that unequal representation of fold-switching conformers within the PDB could be an important cause of inaccurate secondary structure predictions. These results demonstrate that inconsistent secondary structure predictions can serve as a useful preliminary marker of fold switching. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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    08/01/19 | Quantitative in vivo imaging of neuronal glucose concentrations with a genetically encoded fluorescence lifetime sensor.
    Díaz-García CM, Lahmann C, Martínez-François JR, Li B, Koveal D, Nathwani N, Rahman M, Keller JP, Marvin JS, Looger LL, Yellen G
    Journal of Neuroscience Research. 2019 Aug 01;97(8):946-60. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24433

    Glucose is an essential source of energy for the brain. Recently, the development of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors has allowed real time visualization of glucose dynamics from individual neurons and astrocytes. A major difficulty for this approach, even for ratiometric sensors, is the lack of a practical method to convert such measurements into actual concentrations in ex vivo brain tissue or in vivo. Fluorescence lifetime imaging provides a strategy to overcome this. In a previous study, we reported the lifetime glucose sensor iGlucoSnFR-TS (then called SweetieTS) for monitoring changes in neuronal glucose levels in response to stimulation. This genetically encoded sensor was generated by combining the Thermus thermophilus glucose-binding protein with a circularly permuted variant of the monomeric fluorescent protein T-Sapphire. Here, we provide more details on iGlucoSnFR-TS design and characterization, as well as pH and temperature sensitivities. For accurate estimation of glucose concentrations, the sensor must be calibrated at the same temperature as the experiments. We find that when the extracellular glucose concentration is in the range 2-10 mM, the intracellular glucose concentration in hippocampal neurons from acute brain slices is ~20% of the nominal external glucose concentration (~0.4-2 mM). We also measured the cytosolic neuronal glucose concentration in vivo, finding a range of ~0.7-2.5 mM in cortical neurons from awake mice.

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    08/01/19 | T3S injectisome needle complex structures in four distinct states reveal the basis of membrane coupling and assembly.
    Hu J, Worrall LJ, Vuckovic M, Hong C, Deng W, Atkinson CE, Brett Finlay B, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
    Nature Microbiology. 2019 Aug;4(11):2010-19. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0545-z

    The bacterial injectisome is a syringe-shaped macromolecular nanomachine utilized by many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, including the causative agents of plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, sexually transmitted infections and major nosocomial infections. Bacterial proteins destined for self-assembly and host-cell targeting are translocated by the injectisome in a process known as type III secretion (T3S). The core structure is the ~4 MDa needle complex (NC), built on a foundation of three highly oligomerized ring-forming proteins that create a hollow scaffold spanning the bacterial inner membrane (IM) (24-mer ring-forming proteins PrgH and PrgK in the Salmonella entericaserovar Typhimurium Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) type III secretion system (T3SS)) and outer membrane (OM) (15-mer InvG, a member of the broadly conserved secretin pore family). An internalized helical needle projects from the NC and bacterium, ultimately forming a continuous passage to the host, for delivery of virulence effectors. Here, we have captured snapshots of the entire prototypical SPI-1 NC in four distinct needle assembly states, including near-atomic resolution, and local reconstructions in the absence and presence of the needle. These structures reveal the precise localization and molecular interactions of the internalized SpaPQR ‘export apparatus’ complex, which is intimately encapsulated and stabilized within the IM rings in the manner of a nanodisc, and to which the PrgJ rod directly binds and functions as an initiator and anchor of needle polymerization. We also describe the molecular details of the extensive and continuous coupling interface between the OM secretin and IM rings, which is remarkably facilitated by a localized 16-mer stoichiometry in the periplasmic-most coupling domain of the otherwise 15-mer InvG oligomer.

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    07/30/19 | Revealing the synaptic hodology of mammalian neural circuits with multiscale neurocartography.
    Bloss EB, Hunt DL
    Frontiers in Neuroinformatics. 2019 Jul 30;13:. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2019.00052

    The functional features of neural circuits are determined by a combination of properties that range in scale from projections systems across the whole brain to molecular interactions at the synapse. The burgeoning field of neurocartography seeks to map these relevant features of brain structure—spanning a volume ∼20 orders of magnitude—to determine how neural circuits perform computations supporting cognitive function and complex behavior. Recent technological breakthroughs in tissue sample preparation, high-throughput electron microscopy imaging, and automated image analyses have produced the first visualizations of all synaptic connections between neurons of invertebrate model systems. However, the sheer size of the central nervous system in mammals implies that reconstruction of the first full brain maps at synaptic scale may not be feasible for decades. In this review, we outline existing and emerging technologies for neurocartography that complement electron microscopy-based strategies and are beginning to derive some basic organizing principles of circuit hodology at the mesoscale, microscale, and nanoscale. Specifically, we discuss how a host of light microscopy techniques including array tomography have been utilized to determine both long-range and subcellular organizing principles of synaptic connectivity. In addition, we discuss how new techniques, such as two-photon serial tomography of the entire mouse brain, have become attractive approaches to dissect the potential connectivity of defined cell types. Ultimately, principles derived from these techniques promise to facilitate a conceptual understanding of how connectomes, and neurocartography in general, can be effectively utilized toward reaching a mechanistic understanding of circuit function.

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    07/29/19 | Kilohertz frame-rate two-photon tomography.
    Kazemipour A, Novak O, Flickinger D, Marvin JS, Abdelfattah AS, King J, Borden P, Kim J, Al-Abdullatif S, Deal P, Miller E, Schreiter E, Druckmann S, Svoboda K, Looger L, Podgorski K
    Nature Methods. 2019 Jul 29;16(8):778-86. doi: 10.1101/357269

    Point-scanning two-photon microscopy enables high-resolution imaging within scattering specimens such as the mammalian brain, but sequential acquisition of voxels fundamentally limits imaging speed. We developed a two-photon imaging technique that scans lines of excitation across a focal plane at multiple angles and uses prior information to recover high-resolution images at over 1.4 billion voxels per second. Using a structural image as a prior for recording neural activity, we imaged visually-evoked and spontaneous glutamate release across hundreds of dendritic spines in mice at depths over 250 microns and frame-rates over 1 kHz. Dendritic glutamate transients in anaesthetized mice are synchronized within spatially-contiguous domains spanning tens of microns at frequencies ranging from 1-100 Hz. We demonstrate high-speed recording of acetylcholine and calcium sensors, 3D single-particle tracking, and imaging in densely-labeled cortex. Our method surpasses limits on the speed of raster-scanned imaging imposed by fluorescence lifetime.

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    07/15/19 | A genetically encoded fluorescent sensor for in vivo imaging of GABA.
    Marvin JS, Shimoda Y, Magloire V, Leite M, Kawashima T, Jensen TP, Kolb I, Knott EL, Novak O, Podgorski K, Leidenheimer NJ, Rusakov DA, Ahrens MB, Kullmann DM, Looger LL
    Nature Methods. 2019 Jul 15;16(8):763-770. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0471-2

    Current techniques for monitoring GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in vertebrates, cannot follow transients in intact neural circuits. To develop a GABA sensor, we applied the design principles used to create the fluorescent glutamate receptor iGluSnFR. We used a protein derived from a previously unsequenced Pseudomonas fluorescens strain and performed structure-guided mutagenesis and library screening to obtain intensity-based GABA sensing fluorescence reporter (iGABASnFR) variants. iGABASnFR is genetically encoded, detects GABA release evoked by electric stimulation of afferent fibers in acute brain slices and produces readily detectable fluorescence increases in vivo in mice and zebrafish. We applied iGABASnFR to track mitochondrial GABA content and its modulation by an anticonvulsant, swimming-evoked, GABA-mediated transmission in zebrafish cerebellum, GABA release events during interictal spikes and seizures in awake mice, and found that GABA-mediated tone decreases during isoflurane anesthesia.

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