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177 Janelia Publications

Showing 91-100 of 177 results
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    06/17/19 | High-performance calcium sensors for imaging activity in neuronal populations and microcompartments.
    Dana H, Sun Y, Mohar B, Hulse BK, Kerlin AM, Hasseman JP, Tsegaye G, Tsang A, Wong A, Patel R, Macklin JJ, Chen Y, Konnerth A, Jayaraman V, Looger LL, Schreiter ER, Svoboda K, Kim DS
    Nature Methods. 2019 Jun 17;16(7):649-57. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0435-6

    Calcium imaging with genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) is routinely used to measure neural activity in intact nervous systems. GECIs are frequently used in one of two different modes: to track activity in large populations of neuronal cell bodies, or to follow dynamics in subcellular compartments such as axons, dendrites and individual synaptic compartments. Despite major advances, calcium imaging is still limited by the biophysical properties of existing GECIs, including affinity, signal-to-noise ratio, rise and decay kinetics and dynamic range. Using structure-guided mutagenesis and neuron-based screening, we optimized the green fluorescent protein-based GECI GCaMP6 for different modes of in vivo imaging. The resulting jGCaMP7 sensors provide improved detection of individual spikes (jGCaMP7s,f), imaging in neurites and neuropil (jGCaMP7b), and may allow tracking larger populations of neurons using two-photon (jGCaMP7s,f) or wide-field (jGCaMP7c) imaging.

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    06/15/19 | How to design a chalk talk-the million dollar sales pitch
    Snapp EL
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2019 Jun 15;30(13):1575-1577. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E19-01-0007

    Each faculty recruiting season, many postdocs ask, "What is a chalk talk?" The chalk talk is many things-a sales pitch, a teaching demonstration, a barrage of questions, and a description of a future research program. The chalk talk is arguably the most important component of a faculty search interview. Yet few postdocs or grad students receive training or practice in giving a chalk talk. In the following essay, I'll cover the basics of chalk talk design and preparation.

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    06/14/19 | NDP52 tunes cortical actin interaction with astral microtubules for accurate spindle orientation.
    Yu H, Yang F, Dong P, Liao S, Liu WR, Zhao G, Qin B, Dou Z, Liu Z, Liu W, Zang J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Liu X, Yao X
    Cell Research. 2019 Jun 14;29(8):666-79. doi: 10.1038/s41422-019-0189-9

    Oriented cell divisions are controlled by a conserved molecular cascade involving Gαi, LGN, and NuMA. Here, we show that NDP52 regulates spindle orientation via remodeling the polar cortical actin cytoskeleton. siRNA-mediated NDP52 suppression surprisingly revealed a ring-like compact subcortical F-actin architecture surrounding the spindle in prophase/prometaphase cells, which resulted in severe defects of astral microtubule growth and an aberrant spindle orientation. Remarkably, NDP52 recruited the actin assembly factor N-WASP and regulated the dynamics of the subcortical F-actin ring in mitotic cells. Mechanistically, NDP52 was found to bind to phosphatidic acid-containing vesicles, which absorbed cytoplasmic N-WASP to regulate local filamentous actin growth at the polar cortex. Our TIRFM analyses revealed that NDP52-containing vesicles anchored N-WASP and shortened the length of actin filaments in vitro. Based on these results we propose that NDP52-containing vesicles regulate cortical actin dynamics through N-WASP to accomplish a spatiotemporal regulation between astral microtubules and the actin network for proper spindle orientation and precise chromosome segregation. In this way, intracellular vesicles cooperate with microtubules and actin filaments to regulate proper mitotic progression. Since NDP52 is absent from yeast, we reason that metazoans have evolved an elaborate spindle positioning machinery to ensure accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis.

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    Truman LabCardona Lab
    06/14/19 | Regulation of forward and backward locomotion through intersegmental feedback circuits in Drosophila larvae.
    Kohsaka H, Zwart MF, Fushiki A, Fetter RD, Truman JW, Cardona A, Nose A
    Nature Communications. 2019 Jun 14;10(1):2654. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10695-y

    Animal locomotion requires spatiotemporally coordinated contraction of muscles throughout the body. Here, we investigate how contractions of antagonistic groups of muscles are intersegmentally coordinated during bidirectional crawling of Drosophila larvae. We identify two pairs of higher-order premotor excitatory interneurons present in each abdominal neuromere that intersegmentally provide feedback to the adjacent neuromere during motor propagation. The two feedback neuron pairs are differentially active during either forward or backward locomotion but commonly target a group of premotor interneurons that together provide excitatory inputs to transverse muscles and inhibitory inputs to the antagonistic longitudinal muscles. Inhibition of either feedback neuron pair compromises contraction of transverse muscles in a direction-specific manner. Our results suggest that the intersegmental feedback neurons coordinate contraction of synergistic muscles by acting as delay circuits representing the phase lag between segments. The identified circuit architecture also shows how bidirectional motor networks could be economically embedded in the nervous system.

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    06/11/19 | Fate plasticity and reprogramming in genetically distinct populations of leucophores.
    Lewis VM, Saunders LM, Larson TA, Bain EJ, Sturiale SL, Gur D, Chowdhury S, Flynn JD, Allen MC, Deheyn DD, Lee JC, Simon JA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Raible DW, Parichy DM
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2019 Jun 11;116(24):11806-11. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1901021116

    Understanding genetic and cellular bases of adult form remains a fundamental goal at the intersection of developmental and evolutionary biology. The skin pigment cells of vertebrates, derived from embryonic neural crest, are a useful system for elucidating mechanisms of fate specification, pattern formation, and how particular phenotypes impact organismal behavior and ecology. In a survey of fishes, including the zebrafish , we identified two populations of white pigment cells-leucophores-one of which arises by transdifferentiation of adult melanophores and another of which develops from a yellow-orange xanthophore or xanthophore-like progenitor. Single-cell transcriptomic, mutational, chemical, and ultrastructural analyses of zebrafish leucophores revealed cell-type-specific chemical compositions, organelle configurations, and genetic requirements. At the organismal level, we identified distinct physiological responses of leucophores during environmental background matching, and we showed that leucophore complement influences behavior. Together, our studies reveal independently arisen pigment cell types and mechanisms of fate acquisition in zebrafish and illustrate how concerted analyses across hierarchical levels can provide insights into phenotypes and their evolution.

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    05/28/19 | Evolution of Mechanisms that Control Mating in Drosophila Males.
    Ahmed OM, Avila-Herrera A, Tun KM, Serpa PH, Peng J, Parthasarathy S, Knapp J, Stern DL, Davis GW, Pollard KS, Shah NM
    Cell Reports. 2019 May 28;27(9):2527-2536.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.104

    Genetically wired neural mechanisms inhibit mating between species because even naive animals rarely mate with other species. These mechanisms can evolve through changes in expression or function of key genes in sensory pathways or central circuits. Gr32a is a gustatory chemoreceptor that, in D. melanogaster, is essential to inhibit interspecies courtship and sense quinine. Similar to D. melanogaster, we find that D. simulans Gr32a is expressed in foreleg tarsi, sensorimotor appendages that inhibit interspecies courtship, and it is required to sense quinine. Nevertheless, Gr32a is not required to inhibit interspecies mating by D. simulans males. However, and similar to its function in D. melanogaster, Ppk25, a member of the Pickpocket family, promotes conspecific courtship in D. simulans. Together, we have identified distinct evolutionary mechanisms underlying chemosensory control of taste and courtship in closely related Drosophila species.

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    06/01/19 | Practical considerations in particle and object tracking and analysis.
    Aaron J, Wait E, DeSantis M, Chew T
    Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 2019 Jun 01;83(1):e88. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.88

    The rapid advancement of live-cell imaging technologies has enabled biologists to generate high-dimensional data to follow biological movement at the microscopic level. Yet, the "perceived" ease of use of modern microscopes has led to challenges whereby sub-optimal data are commonly generated that cannot support quantitative tracking and analysis as a result of various ill-advised decisions made during image acquisition. Even optimally acquired images often require further optimization through digital processing before they can be analyzed. In writing this article, we presume our target audience to be biologists with a foundational understanding of digital image acquisition and processing, who are seeking to understand the essential steps for particle/object tracking experiments. It is with this targeted readership in mind that we review the basic principles of image-processing techniques as well as analysis strategies commonly used for tracking experiments. We conclude this technical survey with a discussion of how movement behavior can be mathematically modeled and described. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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    05/30/19 | CLADES: a programmable sequence of reporters for lineage analysis
    Garcia-Marques J, Yang C, Espinosa-Medina I, Koyama M, Lee T
    bioRxiv. 2019 May 30:. doi:

    We present CLADES (Cell Lineage Access Driven by an Edition Sequence), a technology for cell lineage studies based on CRISPR/Cas9. CLADES relies on a system of genetic switches to activate and inactivate reporter genes in a pre-determined order. Targeting CLADES to progenitor cells allows the progeny to inherit a sequential cascade of reporters, coupling birth order with reporter expression. This gives us temporal resolution of lineage development that can be used to deconstruct an extended cell lineage by tracking the reporters expressed in the progeny. When targeted to the germ line, the same cascade progresses across animal generations, marking each generation with the corresponding combination of reporters. CLADES thus offers an innovative strategy for making programmable cascades of genes that can be used for genetic manipulation or to record serial biological events.

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    05/30/19 | Neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling protects against activity-induced fatty acid toxicity.
    Ioannou MS, Jackson J, Sheu S, Chang C, Weigel AV, Liu H, Pasolli HA, Xu CS, Pang S, Matthies D, Hess HF, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Liu Z
    Cell. 2019 May 30;177(6):1522-1535.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.001

    Metabolic coordination between neurons and astrocytes is critical for the health of the brain. However, neuron-astrocyte coupling of lipid metabolism, particularly in response to neural activity, remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we demonstrate that toxic fatty acids (FAs) produced in hyperactive neurons are transferred to astrocytic lipid droplets by ApoE-positive lipid particles. Astrocytes consume the FAs stored in lipid droplets via mitochondrial β-oxidation in response to neuronal activity and turn on a detoxification gene expression program. Our findings reveal that FA metabolism is coupled in neurons and astrocytes to protect neurons from FA toxicity during periods of enhanced activity. This coordinated mechanism for metabolizing FAs could underlie both homeostasis and a variety of disease states of the brain.

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    05/27/19 | Molecular logic of spinocerebellar tract neuron diversity and connectivity.
    Baek M, Menon V, Jessell TM, Hantman AW, Dasen J
    Cell Reports. 2019 May 27;27(9):2620-35. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.113

    Coordinated motor behaviors depend on feedback communication between peripheral sensory systems and central circuits in the brain and spinal cord. Relay of muscle and tendon-derived sensory information to the CNS is facilitated by functionally and anatomically diverse groups of spinocerebellar tract neurons (SCTNs), but the molecular logic by which SCTN diversity and connectivity is achieved is poorly understood. We used single cell RNA sequencing and genetic manipulations to define the mechanisms governing the molecular profile and organization of SCTN subtypes. We found that SCTNs relaying proprioceptive sensory information from limb and axial muscles are generated through segmentally-restricted actions of specific Hox genes. Loss of Hox function disrupts SCTN subtype-specific transcriptional programs, leading to defects in the connections between proprioceptive sensory neurons, SCTNs, and the cerebellum. These results indicate that Hox-dependent genetic programs play essential roles in the assembly of the neural circuits required for proprioception.

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