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1634 Janelia Publications

Showing 61-70 of 1634 results
05/21/19 | Neurogenetic dissection of the lateral horn reveals major outputs, diverse behavioural functions, and interactions with the mushroom body.
Dolan M, Frechter S, Bates AS, Dan C, Huoviala P, Roberts RJ, Schlegel P, Dhawan S, Tabano R, Dionne H, Christoforou C, Close K, Sutcliffe B, Giuliani B, Li F, Costa M, Ihrke G, Meissner GW, Bock DD, Aso Y, Rubin GM, Jefferis GS
Elife. 2019 May 21;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43079

Animals exhibit innate behaviours to a variety of sensory stimuli including olfactory cues. In , one higher olfactory centre, the lateral horn (LH), is implicated in innate behaviour. However, our structural and functional understanding of the LH is scant, in large part due to a lack of sparse neurogenetic tools for this region. We generate a collection of split-GAL4 driver lines providing genetic access to 82 LH cell types. We use these to create an anatomical and neurotransmitter map of the LH and link this to EM connectomics data. We find ~30% of LH projections converge with outputs from the mushroom body, site of olfactory learning and memory. Using optogenetic activation, we identify LH cell types that drive changes in valence behavior or specific locomotor programs. In summary, we have generated a resource for manipulating and mapping LH neurons, providing new insights into the circuit basis of innate and learned olfactory behavior.

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05/20/19 | Mechanistic characterization of RASGRP1 variants identifies an hnRNP K-regulated transcriptional enhancer contributing to SLE susceptibility.
Molineros JE, Singh B, Terao C, Okada Y, Kaplan J, McDaniel B, Akizuki S, Sun C, Webb CF, Looger LL, Nath SK
Frontiers in Immunology. 2019 May 20:. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01066

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with a strong genetic component. We recently identified a novel SLE susceptibility locus near RASGRP1, which governs the ERK/MAPK kinase cascade and B-/T-cell differentiation and development. However, precise causal RASGRP1functional variant(s) and their mechanisms of action in SLE pathogenesis remain undefined. Our goal was to fine-map this locus, prioritize genetic variants likely to be functional, experimentally validate their biochemical mechanisms, and determine the contribution of these SNPs to SLE risk. We performed a meta-analysis across six Asian and European cohorts (9,529 cases; 22,462 controls), followed by in silico bioinformatic and epigenetic analyses to prioritize potentially functional SNPs. We experimentally validated the functional significance and mechanism of action of three SNPs in cultured T-cells. Meta-analysis identified 18 genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10−8) SNPs, mostly concentrated in two haplotype blocks, one intronic and the other intergenic. Epigenetic fine-mapping, allelic, eQTL, and imbalance analyses predicted three transcriptional regulatory regions with four SNPs (rs7170151, rs11631591-rs7173565, and rs9920715) prioritized for functional validation. Luciferase reporter assays indicated significant allele-specific enhancer activity for intronic rs7170151 and rs11631591-rs7173565 in T-lymphoid (Jurkat) cells, but not in HEK293 cells. Following up with EMSA, mass spectrometry, and ChIP-qPCR, we detected allele-dependent interactions between heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP-K) and rs11631591. Furthermore, inhibition of hnRNP-K in Jurkat and primary T-cells downregulated RASGRP1 and ERK/MAPK signaling. Comprehensive association, bioinformatics, and epigenetic analyses yielded putative functional variants of RASGRP1, which were experimentally validated. Notably, intronic variant (rs11631591) is located in a cell type-specific enhancer sequence, where its risk allele binds to the hnRNP-K protein and modulates RASGRP1 expression in Jurkat and primary T-cells. As risk allele dosage of rs11631591 correlates with increased RASGRP1 expression and ERK activity, we suggest that this SNP may underlie SLE risk at this locus.

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05/20/19 | Quantitative in vivo imaging of neuronal glucose concentrations with a genetically encoded fluorescence lifetime sensor.
Díaz-García CM, Lahmann C, Martínez-François JR, Li B, Koveal D, Nathwani N, Rahman M, Keller JP, Marvin JS, Looger LL, Yellen G
Journal of Neuroscience Research. 2019 May 20:. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24433

Glucose is an essential source of energy for the brain. Recently, the development of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors has allowed real time visualization of glucose dynamics from individual neurons and astrocytes. A major difficulty for this approach, even for ratiometric sensors, is the lack of a practical method to convert such measurements into actual concentrations in ex vivo brain tissue or in vivo. Fluorescence lifetime imaging provides a strategy to overcome this. In a previous study, we reported the lifetime glucose sensor iGlucoSnFR-TS (then called SweetieTS) for monitoring changes in neuronal glucose levels in response to stimulation. This genetically encoded sensor was generated by combining the Thermus thermophilus glucose-binding protein with a circularly permuted variant of the monomeric fluorescent protein T-Sapphire. Here, we provide more details on iGlucoSnFR-TS design and characterization, as well as pH and temperature sensitivities. For accurate estimation of glucose concentrations, the sensor must be calibrated at the same temperature as the experiments. We find that when the extracellular glucose concentration is in the range 2-10 mM, the intracellular glucose concentration in hippocampal neurons from acute brain slices is ~20% of the nominal external glucose concentration (~0.4-2 mM). We also measured the cytosolic neuronal glucose concentration in vivo, finding a range of ~0.7-2.5 mM in cortical neurons from awake mice.

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05/17/19 | De novo design of tunable, pH-driven conformational changes.
Boyken SE, Benhaim MA, Busch F, Jia M, Back MJ, Choi H, Klima JC, Chen Z, Walkey C, Mileant A, Sahasrabuddhe A, Wei KY, Hodge EA, Byron S, Quijano-Rubio A, Sankaran B, King NP, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Wysocki VH, et al
Science. 2019 May 17;364(6441):658-64. doi: 10.1126/science.aav7897

The ability of naturally occurring proteins to change conformation in response to environmental changes is critical to biological function. Although there have been advances in the de novo design of stable proteins with a single, deep free-energy minimum, the design of conformational switches remains challenging. We present a general strategy to design pH-responsive protein conformational changes by precisely preorganizing histidine residues in buried hydrogen-bond networks. We design homotrimers and heterodimers that are stable above pH 6.5 but undergo cooperative, large-scale conformational changes when the pH is lowered and electrostatic and steric repulsion builds up as the network histidine residues become protonated. The transition pH and cooperativity can be controlled through the number of histidine-containing networks and the strength of the surrounding hydrophobic interactions. Upon disassembly, the designed proteins disrupt lipid membranes both in vitro and after being endocytosed in mammalian cells. Our results demonstrate that environmentally triggered conformational changes can now be programmed by de novo protein design.

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05/03/19 | The glutamine transporter Slc38a1 regulates GABAergic neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity.
Qureshi T, Sørensen C, Berghuis P, Jensen V, Dobszay MB, Farkas T, Dalen KT, Guo C, Hassel B, Utheim TP, Hvalby Ø, Hafting T, Harkany T, Fyhn M, Chaudhry FA
Cerebal Cortex. 2019 May 03:. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz055

GABA signaling sustains fundamental brain functions, from nervous system development to the synchronization of population activity and synaptic plasticity. Despite these pivotal features, molecular determinants underscoring the rapid and cell-autonomous replenishment of the vesicular neurotransmitter GABA and its impact on synaptic plasticity remain elusive. Here, we show that genetic disruption of the glutamine transporter Slc38a1 in mice hampers GABA synthesis, modifies synaptic vesicle morphology in GABAergic presynapses and impairs critical period plasticity. We demonstrate that Slc38a1-mediated glutamine transport regulates vesicular GABA content, induces high-frequency membrane oscillations and shapes cortical processing and plasticity. Taken together, this work shows that Slc38a1 is not merely a transporter accumulating glutamine for metabolic purposes, but a key component regulating several neuronal functions.

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05/03/19 | Practical considerations in particle and object tracking and analysis.
Aaron J, Wait E, DeSantis M, Chew T
Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 2019 May 03:e88. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.88

The rapid advancement of live-cell imaging technologies has enabled biologists to generate high-dimensional data to follow biological movement at the microscopic level. Yet, the "perceived" ease of use of modern microscopes has led to challenges whereby sub-optimal data are commonly generated that cannot support quantitative tracking and analysis as a result of various ill-advised decisions made during image acquisition. Even optimally acquired images often require further optimization through digital processing before they can be analyzed. In writing this article, we presume our target audience to be biologists with a foundational understanding of digital image acquisition and processing, who are seeking to understand the essential steps for particle/object tracking experiments. It is with this targeted readership in mind that we review the basic principles of image-processing techniques as well as analysis strategies commonly used for tracking experiments. We conclude this technical survey with a discussion of how movement behavior can be mathematically modeled and described. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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05/01/19 | Pleiotropic effects of ebony and tan on pigmentation and cuticular hydrocarbon composition in Drosophila melanogaster.
Massey JH, Akiyama N, Bien T, Dreisewerd K, Wittkopp PJ, Yew JY, Takahashi A
Frontiers in Physiology. 05/2019;10:518. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00518

Pleiotropic genes are genes that affect more than one trait. For example, many genes required for pigmentation in the fruit fly also affect traits such as circadian rhythms, vision, and mating behavior. Here, we present evidence that two pigmentation genes, and , which encode enzymes catalyzing reciprocal reactions in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, also affect cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) composition in females. More specifically, we report that loss-of-function mutants have a CHC profile that is biased toward long (>25C) chain CHCs, whereas loss-of-function mutants have a CHC profile that is biased toward short (<25C) chain CHCs. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of dopamine synthesis, a key step in the melanin synthesis pathway, reversed the changes in CHC composition seen in mutants, making the CHC profiles similar to those seen in mutants. These observations suggest that genetic variation affecting and/or activity might cause correlated changes in pigmentation and CHC composition in natural populations. We tested this possibility using the Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) and found that CHC composition covaried with pigmentation as well as levels of and expression in newly eclosed adults in a manner consistent with the and mutant phenotypes. These data suggest that the pleiotropic effects of and might contribute to covariation of pigmentation and CHC profiles in .

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04/29/19 | Visually guided behavior and optogenetically induced learning in head-fixed flies exploring a virtual landscape.
Haberkern H, Basnak MA, Ahanonu B, Schauder D, Cohen JD, Bolstad M, Bruns C, Jayaraman V
Current Biology : CB. 2019 Apr 29:. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.033

Studying the intertwined roles of sensation, experience, and directed action in navigation has been facilitated by the development of virtual reality (VR) environments for head-fixed animals, allowing for quantitative measurements of behavior in well-controlled conditions. VR has long featured in studies of Drosophila melanogaster, but these experiments have typically allowed the fly to change only its heading in a visual scene and not its position. Here we explore how flies move in two dimensions (2D) using a visual VR environment that more closely captures an animal's experience during free behavior. We show that flies' 2D interaction with landmarks cannot be automatically derived from their orienting behavior under simpler one-dimensional (1D) conditions. Using novel paradigms, we then demonstrate that flies in 2D VR adapt their behavior in response to optogenetically delivered appetitive and aversive stimuli. Much like free-walking flies after encounters with food, head-fixed flies exploring a 2D VR respond to optogenetic activation of sugar-sensing neurons by initiating a local search, which appears not to rely on visual landmarks. Visual landmarks can, however, help flies to avoid areas in VR where they experience an aversive, optogenetically generated heat stimulus. By coupling aversive virtual heat to the flies' presence near visual landmarks of specific shapes, we elicit selective learned avoidance of those landmarks. Thus, we demonstrate that head-fixed flies adaptively navigate in 2D virtual environments, but their reliance on visual landmarks is context dependent. These behavioral paradigms set the stage for interrogation of the fly brain circuitry underlying flexible navigation in complex multisensory environments.

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04/29/19 | Super resolution imaging of a distinct chromatin loop in human lymphoblastoid cells.
Jacqueline Jufen Zhu , Zofia Parteka , Byoungkoo Lee , Przemyslaw Szalaj , Ping Wang , Karolina Jodkowska , Jesse Aaron , Teng-Leong Chew , Dariusz Plewczynski , Yijun Ruan
bioRxiv. 2019 Apr 29:. doi: 10.1101/621920

The three-dimensional genome structure plays a fundamental role in gene regulation and cellular functions. Recent studies in genomics based on sequencing technologies inferred the very basic functional chromatin folding structures of the genome known as chromatin loops, the long-range chromatin interactions that are often mediated by protein factors. To visualize the looping structure of chromatin we applied super-resolution microscopy iPALM to image a specific chromatin loop in GM12878 cells. Totally, we have generated six images of the target chromatin region at the single molecule resolution. To infer the chromatin structures from the captured images, we modeled them as looping conformations using different computational algorithms and then evaluated the models by comparing with Hi-C data to examine the concordance. The results showed a good correlation between the imaging data and sequencing data, suggesting the visualization of higher-order chromatin structures for the very short genomic segments can be realized by microscopic imaging.

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04/26/19 | A neural circuit encoding the experience of copulation in female Drosophila.
Shao L, Chung P, Wong A, Siwanowicz I, Kent CF, Long X, Heberlein U
Neuron. 2019 Apr 26;102(5):1025. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.04.009

Female behavior changes profoundly after mating. In Drosophila, the mechanisms underlying the long-term changes led by seminal products have been extensively studied. However, the effect of the sensory component of copulation on the female's internal state and behavior remains elusive. We pursued this question by dissociating the effect of coital sensory inputs from those of male ejaculate. We found that the sensory inputs of copulation cause a reduction of post-coital receptivity in females, referred to as the "copulation effect." We identified three layers of a neural circuit underlying this phenomenon. Abdominal neurons expressing the mechanosensory channel Piezo convey the signal of copulation to female-specific ascending neurons, LSANs, in the ventral nerve cord. LSANs relay this information to neurons expressing myoinhibitory peptides in the brain. We hereby provide a neural mechanism by which the experience of copulation facilitates females encoding their mating status, thus adjusting behavior to optimize reproduction.

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