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1495 Janelia Publications

Showing 1-10 of 1495 results
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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02/07/19 | Cryo-EM structure of the homohexameric T3SS ATPase-central stalk complex reveals rotary ATPase-like asymmetry.
Majewski DD, Worrall LJ, Hong C, Atkinson CE, Vuckovic M, Watanabe N, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
Nature Communications. 2019 Feb 07;10(1):626. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08477-7

Many Gram-negative bacteria, including causative agents of dysentery, plague, and typhoid fever, rely on a type III secretion system - a multi-membrane spanning syringe-like apparatus - for their pathogenicity. The cytosolic ATPase complex of this injectisome is proposed to play an important role in energizing secretion events and substrate recognition. We present the 3.3 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli ATPase EscN in complex with its central stalk EscO. The structure shows an asymmetric pore with different functional states captured in its six catalytic sites, details directly supporting a rotary catalytic mechanism analogous to that of the heterohexameric F/V-ATPases despite its homohexameric nature. Situated at the C-terminal opening of the EscN pore is one molecule of EscO, with primary interaction mediated through an electrostatic interface. The EscN-EscO structure provides significant atomic insights into how the ATPase contributes to type III secretion, including torque generation and binding of chaperone/substrate complexes.

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02/07/19 | Looking back and looking forward at Janelia.
Rubin GM, O'Shea EK
eLife. 2019 Feb07;8:e44826. doi: 10.7554/eLife.44826

Starting a new research campus is a leap of faith. Only later, in the full measure of time, is it possible to take stock of what has worked and what could have been done better or differently. The Janelia Research Campus opened its doors 12 years ago. What has it achieved? What has it taught us? And where does Janelia go from here?

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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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02/06/19 | Discrete attractor dynamics underlies persistent activity in the frontal cortex.
Inagaki HK, Fontolan L, Romani S, Svoboda K
Nature. 2019 Feb 06:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0919-7

Short-term memories link events separated in time, such as past sensation and future actions. Short-term memories are correlated with slow neural dynamics, including selective persistent activity, which can be maintained over seconds. In a delayed response task that requires short-term memory, neurons in the mouse anterior lateral motor cortex (ALM) show persistent activity that instructs future actions. To determine the principles that underlie this persistent activity, here we combined intracellular and extracellular electrophysiology with optogenetic perturbations and network modelling. We show that during the delay epoch, the activity of ALM neurons moved towards discrete end points that correspond to specific movement directions. These end points were robust to transient shifts in ALM activity caused by optogenetic perturbations. Perturbations occasionally switched the population dynamics to the other end point, followed by incorrect actions. Our results show that discrete attractor dynamics underlie short-term memory related to motor planning.

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02/05/19 | DVID: Distributed versioned image-oriented dataservice.
Katz WT, Plaza SM
Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 2019 Feb 05;13(5):. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2019.00005

Open-source software development has skyrocketed in part due to community tools like github.com, which allows publication of code as well as the ability to create branches and push accepted modifications back to the original repository. As the number and size of EM-based datasets increases, the connectomics community faces similar issues when we publish snapshot data corresponding to a publication. Ideally, there would be a mechanism where remote collaborators could modify branches of the data and then flexibly reintegrate results via moderated acceptance of changes. The DVID system provides a web-based connectomics API and the first steps toward such a distributed versioning approach to EM-based connectomics datasets. Through its use as the central data resource for Janelia's FlyEM team, we have integrated the concepts of distributed versioning into reconstruction workflows, allowing support for proofreader training and segmentation experiments through branched, versioned data. DVID also supports persistence to a variety of storage systems from high-speed local SSDs to cloud-based object stores, which allows its deployment on laptops as well as large servers. The tailoring of the backend storage to each type of connectomics data leads to efficient storage and fast queries. DVID is freely available as open-source software with an increasing number of supported storage options.

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02/04/19 | 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
bioRxiv. 2019 Feb 04:538314. 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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02/04/19 | Determining the pharmacokinetics of nicotinic drugs in the endoplasmic reticulum using biosensors.
Shivange AV, Borden PM, Muthusamy AK, Nichols AL, Bera K, Bao H, Bishara I, Jeon J, Mulcahy MJ, Cohen B, O'Riordan SL, Kim C, Dougherty DA, Chapman ER, Marvin J, Looger L, Lester HA
The Journal of General Physiology. 2019 Feb 04:. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201812201

Nicotine dependence is thought to arise in part because nicotine permeates into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it binds to nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) and begins an "inside-out" pathway that leads to up-regulation of nAChRs on the plasma membrane. However, the dynamics of nicotine entry into the ER are unquantified. Here, we develop a family of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors for nicotine, termed iNicSnFRs. The iNicSnFRs are fusions between two proteins: a circularly permutated GFP and a periplasmic choline-/betaine-binding protein engineered to bind nicotine. The biosensors iNicSnFR3a and iNicSnFR3b respond to nicotine by increasing fluorescence at [nicotine] <1 µM, the concentration in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of a smoker. We target iNicSnFR3 biosensors either to the plasma membrane or to the ER and measure nicotine kinetics in HeLa, SH-SY5Y, N2a, and HEK293 cell lines, as well as mouse hippocampal neurons and human stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons. In all cell types, we find that nicotine equilibrates in the ER within 10 s (possibly within 1 s) of extracellular application and leaves as rapidly after removal from the extracellular solution. The [nicotine] in the ER is within twofold of the extracellular value. We use these data to run combined pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic simulations of human smoking. In the ER, the inside-out pathway begins when nicotine becomes a stabilizing pharmacological chaperone for some nAChR subtypes, even at concentrations as low as ∼10 nM. Such concentrations would persist during the 12 h of a typical smoker's day, continually activating the inside-out pathway by >75%. Reducing nicotine intake by 10-fold decreases activation to ∼20%. iNicSnFR3a and iNicSnFR3b also sense the smoking cessation drug varenicline, revealing that varenicline also permeates into the ER within seconds. Our iNicSnFRs enable optical subcellular pharmacokinetics for nicotine and varenicline during an early event in the inside-out pathway.

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02/04/19 | Determining the pharmacokinetics of nicotinic drugs in the endoplasmic reticulum using biosensors.
Shivange AV, Borden PM, Muthusamy AK, Nichols AL, Bera K, Bao H, Bishara I, Jeon J, Mulcahy MJ, Cohen B, O'Riordan SL, Kim C, Dougherty DA, Chapman ER, Marvin J, Looger L, Lester HA
The Journal of General Physiology. 2019 Feb 04:. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201812201

Nicotine dependence is thought to arise in part because nicotine permeates into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it binds to nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) and begins an "inside-out" pathway that leads to up-regulation of nAChRs on the plasma membrane. However, the dynamics of nicotine entry into the ER are unquantified. Here, we develop a family of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors for nicotine, termed iNicSnFRs. The iNicSnFRs are fusions between two proteins: a circularly permutated GFP and a periplasmic choline-/betaine-binding protein engineered to bind nicotine. The biosensors iNicSnFR3a and iNicSnFR3b respond to nicotine by increasing fluorescence at [nicotine] <1 µM, the concentration in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of a smoker. We target iNicSnFR3 biosensors either to the plasma membrane or to the ER and measure nicotine kinetics in HeLa, SH-SY5Y, N2a, and HEK293 cell lines, as well as mouse hippocampal neurons and human stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons. In all cell types, we find that nicotine equilibrates in the ER within 10 s (possibly within 1 s) of extracellular application and leaves as rapidly after removal from the extracellular solution. The [nicotine] in the ER is within twofold of the extracellular value. We use these data to run combined pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic simulations of human smoking. In the ER, the inside-out pathway begins when nicotine becomes a stabilizing pharmacological chaperone for some nAChR subtypes, even at concentrations as low as ∼10 nM. Such concentrations would persist during the 12 h of a typical smoker's day, continually activating the inside-out pathway by >75%. Reducing nicotine intake by 10-fold decreases activation to ∼20%. iNicSnFR3a and iNicSnFR3b also sense the smoking cessation drug varenicline, revealing that varenicline also permeates into the ER within seconds. Our iNicSnFRs enable optical subcellular pharmacokinetics for nicotine and varenicline during an early event in the inside-out pathway.

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02/01/19 | Freeze-frame imaging of synaptic activity using SynTagMA.
Perez-Alvarez A, Fearey BC, Schulze C, O'Toole RJ, Moeyaert B, Mohr MA, Arganda-Carreras I, Yang W, Wiegert JS, Schreiter ER, Gee CE, Hoppa MB, Oertner TG
bioRxiv. 2019 Feb 01:. doi: 10.1101/538041

Information within the brain travels from neuron to neuron across synapses. At any given moment, only a few synapses within billions will be active and are thought to transmit key information about the environment, a behavior being executed or memory being recalled. Here we present SynTagMA, which marks active synapses within a ~2 s time window. Upon violet illumination, the genetically expressed tag converts from green to red fluorescence if bound to calcium. Targeted to presynaptic terminals, preSynTagMA allows discrimination between active and silent axons. Targeted to excitatory postsynapses, postSynTagMA creates a snapshot of synapses active just before photoconversion. To analyze large datasets, we developed an analysis program that automatically identifies and tracks the fluorescence of thousands of individual synapses in tissue. Together, these tools provide a high throughput method for repeatedly mapping active synapses in vitro and in vivo.

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