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1765 Janelia Publications

Showing 11-20 of 1765 results
05/22/20 | Arousal modulates retinal output.
Schröder S, Steinmetz NA, Krumin M, Pachitariu M, Rizzi M, Lagnado L, Harris KD, Carandini M
Neuron. 2020 May 22:. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.04.026

At various stages of the visual system, visual responses are modulated by arousal. Here, we find that in mice this modulation operates as early as in the first synapse from the retina and even in retinal axons. To measure retinal activity in the awake, intact brain, we imaged the synaptic boutons of retinal axons in the superior colliculus. Their activity depended not only on vision but also on running speed and pupil size, regardless of retinal illumination. Arousal typically reduced their visual responses and selectivity for direction and orientation. Recordings from retinal axons in the optic tract revealed that arousal modulates the firing of some retinal ganglion cells. Arousal had similar effects postsynaptically in colliculus neurons, independent of activity in the other main source of visual inputs to the colliculus, the primary visual cortex. These results indicate that arousal modulates activity at every stage of the mouse visual system.

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05/22/20 | Super-Resolution Fluorescence Imaging Reveals That Serine Incorporator Protein 5 Inhibits Human Immunodeficiency Virus Fusion by Disrupting Envelope Glycoprotein Clusters.
Chen Y, Sood C, Marin M, Aaron J, Gratton E, Salaita K, Melikyan GB
ACS Nano. 2020 May 22:. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c02699

Serine incorporator protein 5 (SERINC5) is the host anti-retroviral factor that reduces HIV-1 infectivity by incorporating into virions and inhibiting the envelope glycoprotein (Env) mediated virus fusion with target cells. We and others have shown that SERINC5 incorporation into virions alters the Env structure and sensitizes the virus to broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting cryptic Env epitopes. We have also found that SERINC5 accelerates the loss of Env function over time compared to control viruses. However, the exact mechanism by which SERINC5 inhibits HIV-1 fusion is not understood. Here, we utilized 2D and 3D super-resolution microscopy to examine the effect of SERINC5 on the distribution of Env glycoproteins on single HIV-1 particles. We find that, in agreement with a previous report, Env glycoproteins form clusters on the surface of mature virions. Importantly, incorporation of SERINC5, but not SERINC2, which lacks antiviral activity, disrupted Env clusters without affecting the overall Env content. We also show that SERINC5 and SERINC2 also form clusters on single virions. Unexpectedly, Env and SERINCs molecules exhibited poor co-distribution on virions, as evidenced by much greater Env-SERINC pairwise distances compare to Env-Env distances. This observation is inconsistent with the previously reported interaction between Env and SERINC5 and suggests an indirect effect of SERINC5 on Env cluster formation. Collectively, our results reveal a multifaceted mechanism of SERINC5-mediated restriction of HIV-1 fusion that, aside from the effects on individual Env trimers, involves disruption of Env clusters, which likely serve as sites of viral fusion with target cells.

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05/19/20 | mRNA stem-loops can pause the ribosome by hindering A-site tRNA binding.
Bao C, Loerch S, Ling C, Korostelev AA, Grigorieff N, Ermolenko DN
eLife. 2020 May 19;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55799

Although the elongating ribosome is an efficient helicase, certain mRNA stem-loop structures are known to impede ribosome movement along mRNA and stimulate programmed ribosome frameshifting via mechanisms that are not well understood. Using biochemical and single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) experiments, we studied how frameshift-inducing stem-loops from mRNA and the transcript of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) perturb translation elongation. We find that upon encountering the ribosome, the stem-loops strongly inhibit A-site tRNA binding and ribosome intersubunit rotation that accompanies translation elongation. Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) reveals that the HIV stem-loop docks into the A site of the ribosome. Our results suggest that mRNA stem-loops can transiently escape the ribosome helicase by binding to the A site. Thus, the stem-loops can modulate gene expression by sterically hindering tRNA binding and inhibiting translation elongation.

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05/18/20 | 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
Nature Communications. 2020 May 18;11(1):2464. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16315-4

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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05/14/20 | Detecting the Starting Frame of Actions in Video
Kwak IS, Guo J, Hantman A, Branson K, Kriegman D
2020 IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV). 2020 May 14:. doi: 10.1109/WACV45572.202010.1109/WACV45572.2020.9093405

In this work, we address the problem of precisely localizing key frames of an action, for example, the precise time that a pitcher releases a baseball, or the precise time that a crowd begins to applaud. Key frame localization is a largely overlooked and important action-recognition problem, for example in the field of neuroscience, in which we would like to understand the neural activity that produces the start of a bout of an action. To address this problem, we introduce a novel structured loss function that properly weights the types of errors that matter in such applications: it more heavily penalizes extra and missed action start detections over small misalignments. Our structured loss is based on the best matching between predicted and labeled action starts. We train recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to minimize differentiable approximations of this loss. To evaluate these methods, we introduce the Mouse Reach Dataset, a large, annotated video dataset of mice performing a sequence of actions. The dataset was collected and labeled by experts for the purpose of neuroscience research. On this dataset, we demonstrate that our method outperforms related approaches and baseline methods using an unstructured loss.

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05/12/20 | Nanoscopic visualization of restricted nonvolume cholinergic and monoaminergic transmission with genetically encoded sensors.
Zhu PK, Zheng WS, Zhang P, Jing M, Borden PM, Ali F, Guo K, Feng J, Marvin JS, Wang Y, Wan J, Gan L, Kwan AC, Lin L, Looger LL, Li Y, Zhang Y
Nano Letters. 2020 May 12:. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04877

How neuromodulatory transmitters diffuse into the extracellular space remains an unsolved fundamental biological question, despite wide acceptance of the volume transmission model. Here, we report development of a method combining genetically encoded fluorescent sensors with high-resolution imaging and analysis algorithms which permits the first direct visualization of neuromodulatory transmitter diffusion at various neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Our analysis reveals that acetylcholine and monoamines diffuse at individual release sites with a spread length constant of ∼0.75 μm. These transmitters employ varied numbers of release sites, and when spatially close-packed release sites coactivate they can spillover into larger subcellular areas. Our data indicate spatially restricted (i.e., nonvolume) neuromodulatory transmission to be a prominent intercellular communication mode, reshaping current thinking of control and precision of neuromodulation crucial for understanding behaviors and diseases.

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05/15/20 | Unanticipated stressful and rewarding experiences engage the same prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area neuronal populations.
Del Arco A, Park J, Moghaddam B
eNeuro. 2020 May 08:. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0029-20.2020

Brain networks that mediate motivated behavior in the context of aversive and rewarding experiences involve the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Neurons in both regions are activated by stress and reward, and by learned cues that predict aversive or appetitive outcomes. Recent studies have proposed that separate neuronal populations and circuits in these regions encode learned aversive versus appetitive contexts. But how about the actual experience? Do the same or different PFC and VTA neurons encode unanticipated aversive and appetitive experiences? To address this, we recorded unit activity and local field potentials (LFP) in the dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) and VTA of male rats as they were exposed, in the same recording session, to reward (sucrose) or stress (tail pinch) spaced one hour apart. As expected, experience-specific neuronal responses were observed. About 15-25% of single units in each region responded by excitation or inhibition to either stress or reward, and only stress increased LFP theta oscillation power in both regions and coherence between regions. But the largest number of responses (29% dmPFC and 30% VTA units) involved dual-valence neurons that responded to both stress and reward exposure. Moreover, the temporal profile of neuronal population activity in dmPFC and VTA as assessed by principal component analysis were similar during both types of experiences. These results reveal that aversive and rewarding experiences engage overlapping neuronal populations in the dmPFC and the VTA. These populations may provide a locus of vulnerability for stress related disorders, which are often associated with anhedonia. Animals must recognize unexpected harmful and rewarding events in order to survive. How the brain represents these competing experiences is not fully understood. Two interconnected brain regions implicated in encoding both rewarding and stressful events are the dmPFC and the VTA. In either region, separate neurons and associated circuitry are assumed to respond to events with positive or negative valence. We find, however, that a significant subpopulation of neurons in dmPFC and VTA encode both rewarding and aversive experiences. These dual-valence neurons may provide a computational advantage for flexible planning of behavior when organisms face unexpected rewarding and harmful experiences.

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05/07/20 | A neural representation of naturalistic motion-guided behavior in the zebrafish brain.
Yildizoglu T, Riegler C, Fitzgerald JE, Portugues R
Current Biology. 2020 May 07:. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.043

All animals must transform ambiguous sensory data into successful behavior. This requires sensory representations that accurately reflect the statistics of natural stimuli and behavior. Multiple studies show that visual motion processing is tuned for accuracy under naturalistic conditions, but the sensorimotor circuits extracting these cues and implementing motion-guided behavior remain unclear. Here we show that the larval zebrafish retina extracts a diversity of naturalistic motion cues, and the retinorecipient pretectum organizes these cues around the elements of behavior. We find that higher-order motion stimuli, gliders, induce optomotor behavior matching expectations from natural scene analyses. We then image activity of retinal ganglion cell terminals and pretectal neurons. The retina exhibits direction-selective responses across glider stimuli, and anatomically clustered pretectal neurons respond with magnitudes matching behavior. Peripheral computations thus reflect natural input statistics, whereas central brain activity precisely codes information needed for behavior. This general principle could organize sensorimotor transformations across animal species.

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05/06/20 | Whole-brain profiling of cells and circuits in mammals by tissue clearing and light-sheet microscopy.
Ueda HR, Dodt H, Osten P, Economo MN, Chandrashekar J, Keller PJ
Neuron. 2020 May 06;106(3):369-387. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.03.004

Tissue clearing and light-sheet microscopy have a 100-year-plus history, yet these fields have been combined only recently to facilitate novel experiments and measurements in neuroscience. Since tissue-clearing methods were first combined with modernized light-sheet microscopy a decade ago, the performance of both technologies has rapidly improved, broadening their applications. Here, we review the state of the art of tissue-clearing methods and light-sheet microscopy and discuss applications of these techniques in profiling cells and circuits in mice. We examine outstanding challenges and future opportunities for expanding these techniques to achieve brain-wide profiling of cells and circuits in primates and humans. Such integration will help provide a systems-level understanding of the physiology and pathology of our central nervous system.

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05/04/20 | FMNL2 regulates dynamics of fascin in filopodia.
Pfisterer K, Levitt J, Lawson CD, Marsh RJ, Heddleston JM, Wait E, Ameer-Beg SM, Cox S, Parsons M
Journal of Cell Biology. 2020 May 04;219(5):. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201906111

Filopodia are peripheral F-actin-rich structures that enable cell sensing of the microenvironment. Fascin is an F-actin-bundling protein that plays a key role in stabilizing filopodia to support efficient adhesion and migration. Fascin is also highly up-regulated in human cancers, where it increases invasive cell behavior and correlates with poor patient prognosis. Previous studies have shown that fascin phosphorylation can regulate F-actin bundling, and that this modification can contribute to subcellular fascin localization and function. However, the factors that regulate fascin dynamics within filopodia remain poorly understood. In the current study, we used advanced live-cell imaging techniques and a fascin biosensor to demonstrate that fascin phosphorylation, localization, and binding to F-actin are highly dynamic and dependent on local cytoskeletal architecture in cells in both 2D and 3D environments. Fascin dynamics within filopodia are under the control of formins, and in particular FMNL2, that binds directly to dephosphorylated fascin. Our data provide new insight into control of fascin dynamics at the nanoscale and into the mechanisms governing rapid cytoskeletal adaptation to environmental changes. This filopodia-driven exploration stage may represent an essential regulatory step in the transition from static to migrating cancer cells.

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