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1885 Janelia Publications

Showing 1771-1780 of 1885 results
Riddiford LabTruman Lab
11/02/09 | Temporal patterns of broad isoform expression during the development of neuronal lineages in Drosophila.
Zhou B, Williams DW, Altman J, Riddiford LM, Truman JW
Neural Development. 2009 Nov 2;4:39. doi: 10.1186/1749-8104-4-39

During the development of the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila, neuronal stem cells, the neuroblasts (NBs), first generate a set of highly diverse neurons, the primary neurons that mature to control larval behavior, and then more homogeneous sets of neurons that show delayed maturation and are primarily used in the adult. These latter, ’secondary’ neurons show a complex pattern of expression of broad, which encodes a transcription factor usually associated with metamorphosis, where it acts as a key regulator in the transitions from larva and pupa.

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Fetter Lab
11/01/09 | Wnt-Ror signaling to SIA and SIB neurons directs anterior axon guidance and nerve ring placement in C. elegans.
Kennerdell JR, Fetter RD, Bargmann CI
Development. 2009 Nov;136(22):3801-10. doi: 10.1242/dev.038109

Wnt signaling through Frizzled proteins guides posterior cells and axons in C. elegans into different spatial domains. Here we demonstrate an essential role for Wnt signaling through Ror tyrosine kinase homologs in the most prominent anterior neuropil, the nerve ring. A genetic screen uncovered cwn-2, the C. elegans homolog of Wnt5, as a regulator of nerve ring placement. In cwn-2 mutants, all neuronal structures in and around the nerve ring are shifted to an abnormal anterior position. cwn-2 is required at the time of nerve ring formation; it is expressed by cells posterior of the nerve ring, but its precise site of expression is not critical for its function. In nerve ring development, cwn-2 acts primarily through the Wnt receptor CAM-1 (Ror), together with the Frizzled protein MIG-1, with parallel roles for the Frizzled protein CFZ-2. The identification of CAM-1 as a CWN-2 receptor contrasts with CAM-1 action as a non-receptor in other C. elegans Wnt pathways. Cell-specific rescue of cam-1 and cell ablation experiments reveal a crucial role for the SIA and SIB neurons in positioning the nerve ring, linking Wnt signaling to specific cells that organize the anterior nervous system.

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10/30/09 | Analysis of cell fate from single-cell gene expression profiles in C. elegans.
Liu X, Long F, Peng H, Aerni SJ, Jiang M, Sánchez-Blanco A, Murray JI, Preston E, Mericle B, Batzoglou S, Myers EW, Kim SK
Cell. 2009 Oct 30;139(3):623-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.08.044

The C. elegans cell lineage provides a unique opportunity to look at how cell lineage affects patterns of gene expression. We developed an automatic cell lineage analyzer that converts high-resolution images of worms into a data table showing fluorescence expression with single-cell resolution. We generated expression profiles of 93 genes in 363 specific cells from L1 stage larvae and found that cells with identical fates can be formed by different gene regulatory pathways. Molecular signatures identified repeating cell fate modules within the cell lineage and enabled the generation of a molecular differentiation map that reveals points in the cell lineage when developmental fates of daughter cells begin to diverge. These results demonstrate insights that become possible using computational approaches to analyze quantitative expression from many genes in parallel using a digital gene expression atlas.

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10/30/09 | T cells require Foxo1 to populate the peripheral lymphoid organs.
Gubbels Bupp MR, Edwards B, Guo C, Wei D, Chen G, Wong B, Masteller E, Peng SL
Eur J Immunol. 2009 Oct 30;39(11):2991-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939427

Forkhead transcription factors play critical roles in leukocyte homeostasis. To study further the immunological functions of Foxo1, we generated mice that selectively lack Foxo1 in T cells (Foxo1(flox/flox) Lck.cre(+)conditional knockout mice (cKO)). Although thymocyte development appeared relatively normal, Foxo1 cKO mice harbored significantly increased percentages of mature single positive T cells in the thymus as compared with WT mice, yet possessed smaller lymph nodes and spleens that contained fewer T cells. Foxo1 cKO T cells were not more prone to apoptosis, but instead were characterized by a CD62L(lo) CCR7(lo) CD44(hi) surface phenotype, a poorly populated lymphoid compartment in the periphery, and were relatively refractory to TCR stimulation, all of which were associated with reduced expression of Sell, Klf2, Ccr7, and S1pr1. Thus, Foxo1 is critical for naïve T cells to populate the peripheral lymphoid organs by coordinating a molecular program that maintains homeostasis and regulates trafficking.

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Magee Lab
10/16/09 | Fast synaptic subcortical control of hippocampal circuits.
Varga V, Losonczy A, Zemelman BV, Borhegyi Z, Nyiri G, Domonkos A, Hangya B, Holderith N, Magee JC, Freund TF
Science. 2009 Oct 16;326(5951):449-53. doi: 10.1126/science.1178307

Cortical information processing is under state-dependent control of subcortical neuromodulatory systems. Although this modulatory effect is thought to be mediated mainly by slow nonsynaptic metabotropic receptors, other mechanisms, such as direct synaptic transmission, are possible. Yet, it is currently unknown if any such form of subcortical control exists. Here, we present direct evidence of a strong, spatiotemporally precise excitatory input from an ascending neuromodulatory center. Selective stimulation of serotonergic median raphe neurons produced a rapid activation of hippocampal interneurons. At the network level, this subcortical drive was manifested as a pattern of effective disynaptic GABAergic inhibition that spread throughout the circuit. This form of subcortical network regulation should be incorporated into current concepts of normal and pathological cortical function.

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10/15/09 | Reverse engineering the mouse brain.
O’Connor DH, Huber D, Svoboda K
Nature. 2009 Oct 15;461:923-9. doi: 10.1038/nature08539

Behaviour is governed by activity in highly structured neural circuits. Genetically targeted sensors and switches facilitate measurement and manipulation of activity in vivo, linking activity in defined nodes of neural circuits to behaviour. Because of access to specific cell types, these molecular tools will have the largest impact in genetic model systems such as the mouse. Emerging assays of mouse behaviour are beginning to rival those of behaving monkeys in terms of stimulus and behavioural control. We predict that the confluence of new behavioural and molecular tools in the mouse will reveal the logic of complex mammalian circuits.

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Eddy/Rivas Lab
10/01/09 | A new generation of homology search tools based on probabilistic inference.
Eddy SR
Genome Informatics. International Conference on Genome Informatics. 2009 Oct;23(1):205-11

Many theoretical advances have been made in applying probabilistic inference methods to improve the power of sequence homology searches, yet the BLAST suite of programs is still the workhorse for most of the field. The main reason for this is practical: BLAST’s programs are about 100-fold faster than the fastest competing implementations of probabilistic inference methods. I describe recent work on the HMMER software suite for protein sequence analysis, which implements probabilistic inference using profile hidden Markov models. Our aim in HMMER3 is to achieve BLAST’s speed while further improving the power of probabilistic inference based methods. HMMER3 implements a new probabilistic model of local sequence alignment and a new heuristic acceleration algorithm. Combined with efficient vector-parallel implementations on modern processors, these improvements synergize. HMMER3 uses more powerful log-odds likelihood scores (scores summed over alignment uncertainty, rather than scoring a single optimal alignment); it calculates accurate expectation values (E-values) for those scores without simulation using a generalization of Karlin/Altschul theory; it computes posterior distributions over the ensemble of possible alignments and returns posterior probabilities (confidences) in each aligned residue; and it does all this at an overall speed comparable to BLAST. The HMMER project aims to usher in a new generation of more powerful homology search tools based on probabilistic inference methods.

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Riddiford Lab
10/01/09 | Comparative endocrinology in the 21st century.
Denver RJ, Hopkins PM, McCormick SD, Propper CR, Riddiford L, Sower SA, Wingfield JC
Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2009 Oct;49(4):339-48. doi: 10.1093/icb/icp082

Hormones coordinate developmental, physiological, and behavioral processes within and between all living organisms. They orchestrate and shape organogenesis from early in development, regulate the acquisition, assimilation, and utilization of nutrients to support growth and metabolism, control gamete production and sexual behavior, mediate organismal responses to environmental change, and allow for communication of information between organisms. Genes that code for hormones; the enzymes that synthesize, metabolize, and transport hormones; and hormone receptors are important targets for natural selection, and variation in their expression and function is a major driving force for the evolution of morphology and life history. Hormones coordinate physiology and behavior of populations of organisms, and thus play key roles in determining the structure of populations, communities, and ecosystems. The field of endocrinology is concerned with the study of hormones and their actions. This field is rooted in the comparative study of hormones in diverse species, which has provided the foundation for the modern fields of evolutionary, environmental, and biomedical endocrinology. Comparative endocrinologists work at the cutting edge of the life sciences. They identify new hormones, hormone receptors and mechanisms of hormone action applicable to diverse species, including humans; study the impact of habitat destruction, pollution, and climatic change on populations of organisms; establish novel model systems for studying hormones and their functions; and develop new genetic strains and husbandry practices for efficient production of animal protein. While the model system approach has dominated biomedical research in recent years, and has provided extraordinary insight into many basic cellular and molecular processes, this approach is limited to investigating a small minority of organisms. Animals exhibit tremendous diversity in form and function, life-history strategies, and responses to the environment. A major challenge for life scientists in the 21st century is to understand how a changing environment impacts all life on earth. A full understanding of the capabilities of organisms to respond to environmental variation, and the resilience of organisms challenged by environmental changes and extremes, is necessary for understanding the impact of pollution and climatic change on the viability of populations. Comparative endocrinologists have a key role to play in these efforts.

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10/01/09 | Enzyme stabilization by domain insertion into a thermophilic protein.
Kim C, Pierre B, Ostermeier M, Looger LL, Kim JR
Protein Engineering, Design & Selection : PEDS. 2009 Oct;22(10):615-23. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzp044

Insufficient kinetic stability of exoinulinase (EI) restricts its application in many areas including enzymatic transformation of inulin for production of ultra-high fructose syrup and oligofructan, as well as fermentation of inulin into bioethanol. The conventional method for enzyme stabilization involves mutagenesis and therefore risks alteration of an enzyme’s desired properties, such as activity. Here, we report a novel method for stabilization of EI without any modification of its primary sequence. Our method employs domain insertion of an entire EI domain into a thermophilic scaffold protein. Insertion of EI into a loop of a thermophilic maltodextrin-binding protein from Pyrococcus furiosus (PfMBP) resulted in improvement of kinetic stability (the duration over which an enzyme remains active) at 37 degrees C without any compromise in EI activity. Our analysis suggests that the improved kinetic stability at 37 degrees C might originate from a raised kinetic barrier for irreversible conversion of unfolded intermediates to completely inactivated species, rather than an increased energy difference between the folded and unfolded forms.

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09/30/09 | Lessons from a compartmental model of a Drosophila neuron.
Tuthill JC
The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2009 Sep 30;29(39):12033-4. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3348-09.2009

Although the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been a biological model organism for over a century, its emergence as a model system for the study of neurophysiology is comparatively recent. The primary reason for this is that the vinegar fly and its neurons are tiny; up until 5 years ago, it was prohibitively difficult to record intracellularly from individual neurons in the intact Drosophila brain (Wilson et al., 2004). Today, fly electrophysiologists can genetically label neurons with GFP and reliably record from many (but not all) neurons in the fruit fly brain. Using genetic tools to drive expression of fluorescent calcium indicators, light-sensitive ion channels, or cell activity suppressors, we are beginning to understand how the external environment is represented with electrical potentials in Drosophila neurons (for review, see Olsen and Wilson, 2008).

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