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1391 Janelia Publications

Showing 11-20 of 1391 results
07/23/18 | Insights from Biology: low power circuits in the fruit fly.
Scheffer LK
International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design. 2018 Jul 23-25:

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are small insects, with correspondingly small power budgets. Despite this, they perform sophisticated neural computations in real time. Careful study of these insects is revealing how some of these circuits work. Insights from these systems might be helpful in designing other low power circuits.

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07/13/18 | Cryo-EM structure of the polycystin 2-l1 ion channel.
Hulse RE, Li Z, Huang RK, Zhang J, Clapham DE
eLife. 2018 Jul 13;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36931

We report the near atomic resolution (3.3 Å) of the human polycystic kidney disease 2-like 1 (polycystin 2-l1) ion channel. Encoded by PKD2L1, polycystin 2-l1 is a calcium and monovalent cation-permeant ion channel in primary cilia and plasma membranes. The related primary cilium-specific polycystin-2 protein, encoded by PKD2, shares a high degree of sequence similarity, yet has distinct permeability characteristics. Here we show that these differences are reflected in the architecture of polycystin 2-l1.

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07/13/18 | Fluorogenic structure activity library pinpoints molecular variations in substrate specificity of structurally homologous esterases.
White A, Koelper A, Russell A, Larsen EM, Kim C, Lavis LD, Hoops GC, Johnson RJ
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2018 Jul 13:. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.003972

Cellular esterases catalyze many essential biological functions by performing hydrolysis reactions on diverse substrates. The promiscuity of esterases complicates assignment of their substrate preferences and biological functions. To identify universal factors controlling esterase substrate recognition, we designed a 32-member structure-activity relationship (SAR) library of fluorogenic ester substrates and used this library to systematically interrogate esterase preference for chain length, branching patterns, and polarity to differentiate common classes of esterase substrates. Two structurally homologous bacterial esterases were screened against this library, refining their previously broad overlapping substrate specificity. esterase ybfF displayed a preference for γ-position thioethers and ethers, whereas Rv0045c from displayed a preference for branched substrates with and without thioethers. We determined that this substrate differentiation was partially controlled by individual substrate selectivity residues Tyr119 in ybfF and His187 in Rv0045c; reciprocal substitution of these residues shifted each esterase's substrate preference. This work demonstrates that the selectivity of esterases is tuned based on transition state stabilization, identifies thioethers as an underutilized functional group for esterase substrates, and provides a rapid method for differentiating structural isozymes. This SAR library could have multi-faceted future applications including in vivo imaging, biocatalyst screening, molecular fingerprinting, and inhibitor design.

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07/12/18 | A complete electron microscopy volume of the brain of adult Drosophila melanogaster.
Zheng Z, Lauritzen JS, Perlman E, Robinson CG, Nichols M, Milkie DE, Torrens O, Price J, Fisher CB, Sharifi N, Calle-Schuler SA, Kmecova L, Ali IJ, Karsh B, Trautman ET, Bogovic JA, Hanslovsky P, Jefferis GS, Kazhdan M, Khairy K
Cell. 2018 Jul 12;174(3):730-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.019

Drosophila melanogaster has a rich repertoire of innate and learned behaviors. Its 100,000-neuron brain is a large but tractable target for comprehensive neural circuit mapping. Only electron microscopy (EM) enables complete, unbiased mapping of synaptic connectivity; however, the fly brain is too large for conventional EM. We developed a custom high-throughput EM platform and imaged the entire brain of an adult female fly at synaptic resolution. To validate the dataset, we traced brain-spanning circuitry involving the mushroom body (MB), which has been extensively studied for its role in learning. All inputs to Kenyon cells (KCs), the intrinsic neurons of the MB, were mapped, revealing a previously unknown cell type, postsynaptic partners of KC dendrites, and unexpected clustering of olfactory projection neurons. These reconstructions show that this freely available EM volume supports mapping of brain-spanning circuits, which will significantly accelerate Drosophila neuroscience..

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07/11/18 | Evolution of a central neural circuit underlies Drosophila mate preferences.
Seeholzer LF, Seppo M, Stern DL, Ruta V
Nature. 2018 Jul 11:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0322-9

Courtship rituals serve to reinforce reproductive barriers between closely related species. Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans exhibit reproductive isolation, owing in part to the fact that D. melanogaster females produce 7,11-heptacosadiene, a pheromone that promotes courtship in D. melanogaster males but suppresses courtship in D. simulans males. Here we compare pheromone-processing pathways in D. melanogaster and D. simulans males to define how these sister species endow 7,11-heptacosadiene with the opposite behavioural valence to underlie species discrimination. We show that males of both species detect 7,11-heptacosadiene using homologous peripheral sensory neurons, but this signal is differentially propagated to P1 neurons, which control courtship behaviour. A change in the balance of excitation and inhibition onto courtship-promoting neurons transforms an excitatory pheromonal cue in D. melanogaster into an inhibitory cue in D. simulans. Our results reveal how species-specific pheromone responses can emerge from conservation of peripheral detection mechanisms and diversification of central circuitry, and demonstrate how flexible nodes in neural circuits can contribute to behavioural evolution.

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07/10/18 | Aberrant calcium signaling in astrocytes inhibits neuronal excitability in a human Down syndrome stem cell model.
Tian L, Or G, Wang Y, Shi G, Wang Y, Sun J, Papadopoulos S, Broussard G, Unger E, Deng W, Weick J, Bhattacharyya A, Chen C, Yu G, Looger LL
Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 10;24(2):355-65. doi: 10.1101/247585

Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that causes cognitive impairment. The staggering effects associated with an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) complicates mechanistic understanding of DS pathophysiology. We examined the neuron-astrocyte interplay in a fully recapitulated HSA21 trisomy cellular model differentiated from DS-patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). By combining calcium imaging with genetic approaches, we discovered the functional defects of DS astroglia and their effects on neuronal excitability. Compared with control isogenic astroglia, DS astroglia exhibited more-frequent spontaneous calcium fluctuations, which reduced the excitability of co-cultured neurons. Furthermore, suppressed neuronal activity could be rescued by abolishing astrocytic spontaneous calcium activity either chemically by blocking adenosine-mediated signaling or genetically by knockdown of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptors or S100B, a calcium binding protein coded on HSA21. Our results suggest a mechanism by which DS alters the function of astrocytes, which subsequently disturbs neuronal excitability.

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07/10/18 | Adaptive coding for dynamic sensory inference.
Młynarski WF, Hermundstad AM
eLife. 2018 Jul 10;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32055

Behavior relies on the ability of sensory systems to infer properties of the environment from incoming stimuli. The accuracy of inference depends on the fidelity with which behaviorally relevant properties of stimuli are encoded in neural responses. High-fidelity encodings can be metabolically costly, but low-fidelity encodings can cause errors in inference. Here, we discuss general principles that underlie the tradeoff between encoding cost and inference error. We then derive adaptive encoding schemes that dynamically navigate this tradeoff. These optimal encodings tend to increase the fidelity of the neural representation following a change in the stimulus distribution, and reduce fidelity for stimuli that originate from a known distribution. We predict dynamical signatures of such encoding schemes and demonstrate how known phenomena, such as burst coding and firing rate adaptation, can be understood as hallmarks of optimal coding for accurate inference.

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07/04/18 | Visual projection neurons mediating directed courtship in Drosophila.
Ribeiro IM, Drews M, Bahl A, Machacek C, Borst A, Dickson BJ
Cell. 2018 Jul 04;174(3):607-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.020

Many animals rely on vision to detect, locate, and track moving objects. In Drosophila courtship, males primarily use visual cues to orient toward and follow females and to select the ipsilateral wing for courtship song. Here, we show that the LC10 visual projection neurons convey essential visual information during courtship. Males with LC10 neurons silenced are unable to orient toward or maintain proximity to the female and do not predominantly use the ipsilateral wing when singing. LC10 neurons preferentially respond to small moving objects using an antagonistic motion-based center-surround mechanism. Unilateral activation of LC10 neurons recapitulates the orienting and ipsilateral wing extension normally elicited by females, and the potency with which LC10 induces wing extension is enhanced in a state of courtship arousal controlled by male-specific P1 neurons. These data suggest that LC10 is a major pathway relaying visual input to the courtship circuits in the male brain.

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07/02/18 | Apical and basal matrix remodeling control epithelial morphogenesis.
Diaz-de-la-Loza M, Ray RP, Ganguly PS, Alt S, Davis JR, Hoppe A, Tapon N, Salbreux G, Thompson BJ
Developmental Cell. 2018 Jul 02;46(1):23-39.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.06.006

Epithelial tissues can elongate in two dimensions by polarized cell intercalation, oriented cell division, or cell shape change, owing to local or global actomyosin contractile forces acting in the plane of the tissue. In addition, epithelia can undergo morphogenetic change in three dimensions. We show that elongation of the wings and legs of Drosophila involves a columnar-to-cuboidal cell shape change that reduces cell height and expands cell width. Remodeling of the apical extracellular matrix by the Stubble protease and basal matrix by MMP1/2 proteases induces wing and leg elongation. Matrix remodeling does not occur in the haltere, a limb that fails to elongate. Limb elongation is made anisotropic by planar polarized Myosin-II, which drives convergent extension along the proximal-distal axis. Subsequently, Myosin-II relocalizes to lateral membranes to accelerate columnar-to-cuboidal transition and isotropic tissue expansion. Thus, matrix remodeling induces dynamic changes in actomyosin contractility to drive epithelial morphogenesis in three dimensions.

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07/01/18 | Cryo-EM structure of an essential Plasmodium vivax invasion complex.
Gruszczyk J, Huang RK, Chan L, Menant S, Hong C, Murphy JM, Mok Y, Griffin MD, Pearson RD, Wong W, Cowman AF, Yu Z, Tham W
Nature. 2018 Jul;559(7712):135-139. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0249-1

Plasmodium vivax is the most widely distributed malaria parasite that infects humans. P. vivax invades reticulocytes exclusively, and successful entry depends on specific interactions between the P. vivax reticulocyte-binding protein 2b (PvRBP2b) and transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). TfR1-deficient erythroid cells are refractory to invasion by P. vivax, and anti-PvRBP2b monoclonal antibodies inhibit reticulocyte binding and block P. vivax invasion in field isolates. Here we report a high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of a ternary complex of PvRBP2b bound to human TfR1 and transferrin, at 3.7 Å resolution. Mutational analyses show that PvRBP2b residues involved in complex formation are conserved; this suggests that antigens could be designed that act across P. vivax strains. Functional analyses of TfR1 highlight how P. vivax hijacks TfR1, an essential housekeeping protein, by binding to sites that govern host specificity, without affecting its cellular function of transporting iron. Crystal and solution structures of PvRBP2b in complex with antibody fragments characterize the inhibitory epitopes. Our results establish a structural framework for understanding how P. vivax reticulocyte-binding protein engages its receptor and the molecular mechanism of inhibitory monoclonal antibodies, providing important information for the design of novel vaccine candidates.

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