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2368 Janelia Publications

Showing 161-170 of 2368 results
02/01/23 | TEMPO enables sequential genetic labeling and manipulation of vertebrate cell lineages.
Espinosa-Medina I, Feliciano D, Belmonte-Mateos C, Linda Miyares R, Garcia-Marques J, Foster B, Lindo S, Pujades C, Koyama M, Lee T
Neuron. 2023 Feb 01;111(3):345-361.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2022.10.035

During development, regulatory factors appear in a precise order to determine cell fates over time. Consequently, to investigate complex tissue development, it is necessary to visualize and manipulate cell lineages with temporal control. Current strategies for tracing vertebrate cell lineages lack genetic access to sequentially produced cells. Here, we present TEMPO (Temporal Encoding and Manipulation in a Predefined Order), an imaging-readable genetic tool allowing differential labeling and manipulation of consecutive cell generations in vertebrates. TEMPO is based on CRISPR and powered by a cascade of gRNAs that drive orderly activation and inactivation of reporters and/or effectors. Using TEMPO to visualize zebrafish and mouse neurogenesis, we recapitulated birth-order-dependent neuronal fates. Temporally manipulating cell-cycle regulators in mouse cortex progenitors altered the proportion and distribution of neurons and glia, revealing the effects of temporal gene perturbation on serial cell fates. Thus, TEMPO enables sequential manipulation of molecular factors, crucial to study cell-type specification.

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01/26/23 | Hacking brain development to test models of sensory coding
Maria Ahmed , Adithya E. Rajagopalan , Yijie Pan , Ye Li , Donnell L. Williams , Erik A. Pedersen , Manav Thakral , Angelica Previero , Kari C. Close , Christina P. Christoforou , Dawen Cai , Glenn C. Turner , Josephine Clowney
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 26:. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.25.525425

Animals can discriminate myriad sensory stimuli but can also generalize from learned experience. You can probably distinguish the favorite teas of your colleagues while still recognizing that all tea pales in comparison to coffee. Tradeoffs between detection, discrimination, and generalization are inherent at every layer of sensory processing. During development, specific quantitative parameters are wired into perceptual circuits and set the playing field on which plasticity mechanisms play out. A primary goal of systems neuroscience is to understand how material properties of a circuit define the logical operations— computations--that it makes, and what good these computations are for survival. A cardinal method in biology—and the mechanism of evolution--is to change a unit or variable within a system and ask how this affects organismal function. Here, we make use of our knowledge of developmental wiring mechanisms to modify hard-wired circuit parameters in the Drosophila melanogaster mushroom body and assess the functional and behavioral consequences. By altering the number of expansion layer neurons (Kenyon cells) and their dendritic complexity, we find that input number, but not cell number, tunes odor selectivity. Simple odor discrimination performance is maintained when Kenyon cell number is reduced and augmented by Kenyon cell expansion.

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01/25/23 | Metamorphosis of memory circuits in Drosophila reveal a strategy for evolving a larval brain.
James W. Truman , Jacquelyn Price , Rosa L. Miyares , Tzumin Lee
eLife. 2023 Jan 25:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.80594

Insects like Drosophila produce a second brain adapted to the form and behavior of a larva. Neurons for both larval and adult brains are produced by the same stem cells (neuroblasts) but the larva possesses only the earliest born neurons produced from each. To understand how a functional larval brain is made from this reduced set of neurons, we examined the origins and metamorphic fates of the neurons of the larval and adult mushroom body circuits. The adult mushroom body core is built sequentially of γ Kenyon cells, that form a medial lobe, followed by α’β’, and αβ Kenyon cells that form additional medial lobes and two vertical lobes. Extrinsic input (MBINs) and output (MBONs) neurons divide this core into computational compartments. The larval mushroom body contains only γ neurons. Its medial lobe compartments are roughly homologous to those of the adult and same MBONs are used for both. The larval vertical lobe, however, is an analogous “facsimile” that uses a larval-specific branch on the γ neurons to make up for the missing α’β’, and αβ neurons. The extrinsic cells for the facsimile are early-born neurons that trans-differentiate to serve a mushroom body function in the larva and then shift to other brain circuits in the adult. These findings are discussed in the context of the evolution of a larval brain in insects with complete metamorphosis.

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01/25/23 | The SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein Orf3a is not an ion channel, but does interact with trafficking proteins
Alexandria N. Miller , Patrick R. Houlihan , Ella Matamala , Deny Cabezas-Bratesco , Gi Young Lee , Ben Cristofori-Armstrong , Tanya L. Dilan , Silvia Sanchez-Martinez , Doreen Matthies , Rui Yan , Zhiheng Yu , Dejian Ren , Sebastian E. Brauchi , David E. Clapham
eLife. 2023 Jan 25:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.84477

The severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-CoV-1 accessory protein Orf3a colocalizes with markers of the plasma membrane, endocytic pathway, and Golgi apparatus. Some reports have led to annotation of both Orf3a proteins as a viroporin. Here we show that neither SARS-CoV-2 nor SARS-CoV-1 form functional ion conducting pores and that the conductances measured are common contaminants in overexpression and with high levels of protein in reconstitution studies. Cryo-EM structures of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 Orf3a display a narrow constriction and the presence of a basic aqueous vestibule, which would not favor cation permeation. We observe enrichment of the late endosomal marker Rab7 upon SARS-CoV-2 Orf3a overexpression, and co-immunoprecipitation with VPS39. Interestingly, SARS-CoV-1 Orf3a does not cause the same cellular phenotype as SARS-CoV-2 Orf3a and does not interact with VPS39. To explain this difference, we find that a divergent, unstructured loop of SARS-CoV-2 Orf3a facilitates its binding with VPS39, a HOPS complex tethering protein involved in late endosome and autophagosome fusion with lysosomes. We suggest that the added loop enhances SARS-CoV-2 Orf3a ability to co-opt host cellular trafficking mechanisms for viral exit or host immune evasion.

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01/24/23 | Hierarchical architecture of dopaminergic circuits enables second-order conditioning in Drosophila
Daichi Yamada , Daniel Bushey , Li Feng , Karen Hibbard , Megan Sammons , Jan Funke , Ashok Litwin-Kumar , Toshihide Hige , Yoshinori Aso
eLife. 2023 Jan 24:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.79042

Dopaminergic neurons with distinct projection patterns and physiological properties compose memory subsystems in a brain. However, it is poorly understood whether or how they interact during complex learning. Here, we identify a feedforward circuit formed between dopamine subsystems and show that it is essential for second-order conditioning, an ethologically important form of higher-order associative learning. The Drosophila mushroom body comprises a series of dopaminergic compartments, each of which exhibits distinct memory dynamics. We find that a slow and stable memory compartment can serve as an effective “teacher” by instructing other faster and transient memory compartments via a single key interneuron, which we identify by connectome analysis and neurotransmitter prediction. This excitatory interneuron acquires enhanced response to reward-predicting odor after first-order conditioning and, upon activation, evokes dopamine release in the “student” compartments. These hierarchical connections between dopamine subsystems explain distinct properties of first- and second-order memory long known by behavioral psychologists.

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01/20/23 | How microscopic epistasis and clonal interference shape the fitness trajectory in a spin glass model of microbial long-term evolution
Nicholas M. Boffi , Yipei Guo , Chris H. Rycroft , Ariel Amir
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 20:. doi: 10.1101/2023.

The adaptive dynamics of evolving microbial populations takes place on a complex fitness landscape generated by epistatic interactions. The population generically consists of multiple competing strains, a phenomenon known as clonal interference. Microscopic epistasis and clonal interference are central aspects of evolution in microbes, but their combined effects on the functional form of the population’s mean fitness are poorly understood. Here, we develop a computational method that resolves the full microscopic complexity of an evolving population subject to a standard serial dilution protocol. We find that stronger microscopic epistasis gives rise to fitness trajectories with slower growth independent of the number of competing strains, which we quantify with power-law fits and understand mechanistically via a random walk model that neglects dynamical correlations between genes. We show that clonal interference leads to fitness trajectories with faster growth (in functional form) without microscopic epistasis, but has a negligible effect when epistasis is sufficiently strong, indicating that the role of clonal interference depends intimately on the underlying fitness landscape.

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01/20/23 | Multimodal mapping of cell types and projections in the central nucleus of the amygdala
Yuhan Wang , Sabine Krabbe , Mark Eddison , Fredrick E. Henry , Greg Fleishman , Andrew L. Lemire , Lihua Wang , Wyatt Korff , Paul W. Tillberg , Andreas Lüthi , Scott M. Sternson
eLife. 2023 Jan 20:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.84262

The central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) is a brain region that integrates external and internal sensory information and executes innate and adaptive behaviors through distinct output pathways. Despite its complex functions, the diversity of molecularly defined neuronal types in the CEA and their contributions to major axonal projection targets have not been examined systematically. Here, we performed single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-Seq) to classify molecularly defined cell types in the CEA and identified marker-genes to map the location of these neuronal types using expansion assisted iterative fluorescence in situ hybridization (EASI-FISH). We developed new methods to integrate EASI-FISH with 5-plex retrograde axonal labeling to determine the spatial, morphological, and connectivity properties of ∼30,000 molecularly defined CEA neurons. Our study revealed spatio-molecular organization of the CEA, with medial and lateral CEA associated with distinct cell families. We also found a long-range axon projection network from the CEA, where target regions receive inputs from multiple molecularly defined cell types. Axon collateralization was found primarily among projections to hindbrain targets, which are distinct from forebrain projections. This resource reports marker-gene combinations for molecularly defined cell types and axon-projection types, which will be useful for selective interrogation of these neuronal populations to study their contributions to the diverse functions of the CEA.

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01/18/23 | Functional specialization and structured representations for space and time in prefrontal cortex
Claudia Böhm , Albert K. Lee
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 18:. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.16.524214

Individual neurons in prefrontal cortex – a key brain area involved in cognitive functions – are selective for variables such as space or time, as well as more cognitive aspects of tasks, such as learned categories. Many neurons exhibit mixed selectivity, that is, they show selectivity for multiple variables. A fundamental question is whether neurons are functionally specialized for particular variables and how selectivity for different variables intersects across the population. Here, we analyzed neural correlates of space and time in rats performing a navigational task with two behaviorally important categories – starts and goals. Using simultaneous recordings of many medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons during behavior, we found that population codes for elapsed time were invariant to different locations within categories, and subsets of neurons had functional preferences for time or space across categories. Thus, mPFC exhibits structured selectivity, which may facilitate complex behaviors by efficiently generating informative representations of multiple variables.

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01/18/23 | Mesolimbic dopamine adapts the rate of learning from action.
Coddington LT, Lindo SE, Dudman JT
Nature. 2023 Jan 18:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05614-z

Recent success in training artificial agents and robots derives from a combination of direct learning of behavioural policies and indirect learning through value functions. Policy learning and value learning use distinct algorithms that optimize behavioural performance and reward prediction, respectively. In animals, behavioural learning and the role of mesolimbic dopamine signalling have been extensively evaluated with respect to reward prediction; however, so far there has been little consideration of how direct policy learning might inform our understanding. Here we used a comprehensive dataset of orofacial and body movements to understand how behavioural policies evolved as naive, head-restrained mice learned a trace conditioning paradigm. Individual differences in initial dopaminergic reward responses correlated with the emergence of learned behavioural policy, but not the emergence of putative value encoding for a predictive cue. Likewise, physiologically calibrated manipulations of mesolimbic dopamine produced several effects inconsistent with value learning but predicted by a neural-network-based model that used dopamine signals to set an adaptive rate, not an error signal, for behavioural policy learning. This work provides strong evidence that phasic dopamine activity can regulate direct learning of behavioural policies, expanding the explanatory power of reinforcement learning models for animal learning.

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01/07/23 | Solving the spike sorting problem with Kilosort
Marius Pachitariu , Shashwat Sridhar , Carsen Stringer
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 07:. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.07.523036

Spike sorting is the computational process of extracting the firing times of single neurons from recordings of local electrical fields. This is an important but hard problem in neuroscience, complicated by the non-stationarity of the recordings and the dense overlap in electrical fields between nearby neurons. To solve the spike sorting problem, we have continuously developed over the past eight years a framework known as Kilosort. This paper describes the various algorithmic steps introduced in different versions of Kilosort. We also report the development of Kilosort4, a new version with substantially improved performance due to new clustering algorithms inspired by graph-based approaches. To test the performance of Kilosort, we developed a realistic simulation framework which uses densely sampled electrical fields from real experiments to generate non-stationary spike waveforms and realistic noise. We find that nearly all versions of Kilosort outperform other algorithms on a variety of simulated conditions, and Kilosort4 performs best in all cases, correctly identifying even neurons with low amplitudes and small spatial extents in high drift conditions.

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