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1817 Janelia Publications

Showing 81-90 of 1817 results
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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05/03/20 | Co-evolving wing spots and mating displays are genetically separable traits in Drosophila.
Massey JH, Rice GR, Firdaus A, Chen C, Yeh S, Stern DL, Wittkopp PJ
Evolution. 2020 May 03:. doi: 10.1111/evo.13990

The evolution of sexual traits often involves correlated changes in morphology and behavior. For example, in Drosophila, divergent mating displays are often accompanied by divergent pigment patterns. To better understand how such traits co-evolve, we investigated the genetic basis of correlated divergence in wing pigmentation and mating display between the sibling species Drosophila elegans and D. gunungcola. Drosophila elegans males have an area of black pigment on their wings known as a wing spot and appear to display this spot to females by extending their wings laterally during courtship. By contrast, D. gunungcola lost both of these traits. Using Multiplexed Shotgun Genotyping (MSG), we identified a ∼440 kb region on the X chromosome that behaves like a genetic switch controlling the presence or absence of male-specific wing spots. This region includes the candidate gene optomotor-blind (omb), which plays a critical role in patterning the Drosophila wing. The genetic basis of divergent wing display is more complex, with at least two loci on the X chromosome and two loci on autosomes contributing to its evolution. Introgressing the X-linked region affecting wing spot development from D. gunungcola into D. elegans reduced pigmentation in the wing spots but did not affect the wing display, indicating that these are genetically separable traits. Consistent with this observation, broader sampling of wild D. gunungcola populations confirmed the wing spot and wing display are evolving independently: some D. gunungcola males performed wing displays similar to D. elegans despite lacking wing spots. These data suggest that correlated selection pressures rather than physical linkage or pleiotropy are responsible for the coevolution of these morphological and behavioral traits. They also suggest that the change in morphology evolved prior to the change in behavior. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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05/01/20 | Effect of circuit structure on odor representation in the insect olfactory system.
Rajagopalan A, Assisi C
eNeuro. 2020 May;7(3):1-12. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0130-19.2020

In Neuroscience, the structure of a circuit has often been used to intuit function - an inversion of Louis Kahn's famous dictum, `Form follows function' (Kristan and Katz 2006). However, different brain networks may utilize different network architectures to solve the same problem. The olfactory circuits of two insects, the Locust, and the fruit fly, , serve the same function - to identify and discriminate odors. The neural circuitry that achieves this shows marked structural differences. Projection neurons (PN) in the antennal lobe (AL) innervate Kenyon cells (KC) of the mushroom body (MB). In locust, each KC receives inputs from ∼50% PNs, a scheme that maximizes the difference between inputs to any two of ∼50,000 KCs. In contrast, in drosophila, this number is only 5% and appears sub-optimal. Using a computational model of the olfactory system, we show the activity of KCs is sufficiently high-dimensional that it can separate similar odors regardless of the divergence of PN-KC connections. However, when temporal patterning encodes odor attributes, dense connectivity outperforms sparse connections.Increased separability comes at the cost of reliability. The disadvantage of sparse connectivity can be mitigated by incorporating other aspects of circuit architecture seen in drosophila. Our simulations predict that drosophila and locust circuits lie at different ends of a continuum where the drosophila gives up on the ability to resolve similar odors to generalize across varying environments, while the locust separates odor representations but risks misclassifying noisy variants of the same odor. How does the structure of a network affect its function? We address this question in the context of two olfactory systems that serve the same function, to distinguish the attributes of different odorants, but do so using markedly distinct architectures. In the locust, the probability of connections between projection neurons and Kenyon cells - a layer downstream - is nearly 50%. In contrast, this number is merely 5% in drosophila. We developed computational models of these networks to understand the relative advantages of each connectivity. Our analysis reveals that the two systems exist along a continuum of possibilities that balance two conflicting goals - separating the representations of similar odors while grouping together noisy variants of the same odor.

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05/01/20 | Neuronal upregulation of Prospero protein is driven by alternative mRNA polyadenylation and Syncrip-mediated mRNA stabilisation.
Samuels TJ, Arava Y, Järvelin AI, Robertson F, Lee JY, Yang L, Yang C, Lee T, Ish-Horowicz D, Davis I
Biology Open. 2020 May;9(5):. doi: 10.1242/bio.049684

During and vertebrate brain development, the conserved transcription factor Prospero/Prox1 is an important regulator of the transition between proliferation and differentiation. Prospero level is low in neural stem cells and their immediate progeny, but is upregulated in larval neurons and it is unknown how this process is controlled. Here, we use single molecule fluorescent hybridisation to show that larval neurons selectively transcribe a long mRNA isoform containing a 15 kb 3' untranslated region, which is bound in the brain by the conserved RNA-binding protein Syncrip/hnRNPQ. Syncrip binding increases the mRNA stability of the long isoform, which allows an upregulation of Prospero protein production. Adult flies selectively lacking the long isoform show abnormal behaviour that could result from impaired locomotor or neurological activity. Our findings highlight a regulatory strategy involving alternative polyadenylation followed by differential post-transcriptional regulation.

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05/01/20 | Ultrastructural visualization of 3D chromatin folding using volume electron microscopy and DNA in situ hybridization.
Trzaskoma P, Ruszczycki B, Lee B, Pels KK, Krawczyk K, Bokota G, Szczepankiewicz AA, Aaron J, Walczak A, Śliwińska MA, Magalska A, Kadlof M, Wolny A, Parteka Z, Arabasz S, Kiss-Arabasz M, Plewczyński D, Ruan Y, Wilczyński GM
Nature Communications. 2020 May 01;11(1):2120. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15987-2

The human genome is extensively folded into 3-dimensional organization. However, the detailed 3D chromatin folding structures have not been fully visualized due to the lack of robust and ultra-resolution imaging capability. Here, we report the development of an electron microscopy method that combines serial block-face scanning electron microscopy with in situ hybridization (3D-EMISH) to visualize 3D chromatin folding at targeted genomic regions with ultra-resolution (5 × 5 × 30 nm in xyz dimensions) that is superior to the current super-resolution by fluorescence light microscopy. We apply 3D-EMISH to human lymphoblastoid cells at a 1.7 Mb segment of the genome and visualize a large number of distinctive 3D chromatin folding structures in ultra-resolution. We further quantitatively characterize the reconstituted chromatin folding structures by identifying sub-domains, and uncover a high level heterogeneity of chromatin folding ultrastructures in individual nuclei, suggestive of extensive dynamic fluidity in 3D chromatin states.

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04/28/20 | A Sparse, Spatially Biased Subtype of Mature Granule Cell Dominates Recruitment in Hippocampal-Associated Behaviors.
Erwin SR, Sun W, Copeland M, Lindo S, Spruston N, Cembrowski MS
Cell Reports. 2020 Apr 28;31(4):107551. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107551

Animals can store information about experiences by activating specific neuronal populations, and subsequent reactivation of these neural ensembles can lead to recall of salient experiences. In the hippocampus, granule cells of the dentate gyrus participate in such memory engrams; however, whether there is an underlying logic to granule cell participation has not been examined. Here, we find that a range of novel experiences preferentially activates granule cells of the suprapyramidal blade relative to the infrapyramidal blade. Motivated by this, we identify a suprapyramidal-blade-enriched population of granule cells with distinct spatial, morphological, physiological, and developmental properties. Via transcriptomics, we map these traits onto a sparse and discrete granule cell subtype that is recruited at a 10-fold greater frequency than expected by subtype prevalence, constituting the majority of all recruited granule cells. Thus, in behaviors known to involve hippocampal-dependent memory formation, a rare and spatially localized subtype dominates overall granule cell recruitment.

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The brainstem contains several neuronal populations, heterogeneous in term of neurotransmitter/neuropeptide content, which are important for controlling various aspects of the REM phase of sleep. Among these populations are the Calbindin (Calb)-immunoreactive NPCalb neurons, located in the Nucleus papilio, within the dorsal paragigantocellular nucleus (DPGi), and recently shown to control eye movement during the REM phase of sleep. We performed in depth data-mining of the in-situ hybridization data collected at the Allen Brain Atlas, in order to identify potentially interesting genes expressed in this brainstem nucleus. Our attention focused on genes encoding neuropeptides, including Cart (Cocaine and Amphetamine Regulated Transcripts) and Nesfatin1. While Nesfatin1 appeared ubiquitously expressed in this Calb-positive neuronal population, Cart was co-expressed in only a subset of these glutamatergic NPCalb neurons. Furthermore, a REM sleep deprivation and rebound assay performed with mice revealed that the Cart-positive neuronal population within the DPGi was activated during REM sleep (as measured by c-fos immunoreactivity), suggesting a role of this neuropeptide in regulating some aspects of REM sleep. The assembled information could afford functional clues to investigators, conducive to further experimental pursuits.

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04/27/20 | Live-cell single particle imaging reveals the role of RNA polymerase II in histone H2A.Z eviction.
Ranjan A, Nguyen VQ, Liu S, Wisniewski J, Kim JM, Tang X, Mizuguchi G, Elalaoui E, Nickels TJ, Jou V, English BP, Zheng Q, Luk E, Lavis LD, Lionnet T, Wu C
eLife. 2020 Apr 27;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55667

The H2A.Z histone variant, a genome-wide hallmark of permissive chromatin, is enriched near transcription start sites in all eukaryotes. H2A.Z is deposited by the SWR1 chromatin remodeler and evicted by unclear mechanisms. We tracked H2A.Z in living yeast at single-molecule resolution, and found that H2A.Z eviction is dependent on RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) and the Kin28/Cdk7 kinase, which phosphorylates Serine 5 of heptapeptide repeats on the carboxy-terminal domain of the largest Pol II subunit Rpb1. These findings link H2A.Z eviction to transcription initiation, promoter escape and early elongation activities of Pol II. Because passage of Pol II through +1 nucleosomes genome-wide would obligate H2A.Z turnover, we propose that global transcription at yeast promoters is responsible for eviction of H2A.Z. Such usage of yeast Pol II suggests a general mechanism coupling eukaryotic transcription to erasure of the H2A.Z epigenetic signal.

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04/23/20 | Frontline science: dynamic cellular and subcellular features of migrating leukocytes revealed by in vivo lattice lightsheet microscopy.
Manley HR, Potter DL, Heddleston JM, Chew T, Keightley MC, Lieschke GJ
Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2020 Apr 23:. doi: 10.1002/JLB.3HI0120-589R

Neutrophil and macrophage (Mϕ) migration underpin the inflammatory response. However, the fast velocity, multidirectional instantaneous movement, and plastic, ever-changing shape of phagocytes confound high-resolution intravital imaging. Lattice lightsheet microscopy (LLSM) captures highly dynamic cell morphology at exceptional spatiotemporal resolution. We demonstrate the first extensive application of LLSM to leukocytes in vivo, utilizing optically transparent zebrafish, leukocyte-specific reporter lines that highlighted subcellular structure, and a wounding assay for leukocyte migration. LLSM revealed details of migrating leukocyte morphology, and permitted intricate, volumetric interrogation of highly dynamic activities within their native physiological setting. Very thin, recurrent uropod extensions must now be considered a characteristic feature of migrating neutrophils. LLSM resolved trailing uropod extensions, demonstrating their surprising length, and permitting quantitative assessment of cytoskeletal contributions to their evanescent form. Imaging leukocytes in blood vessel microenvironments at LLSM's spatiotemporal resolution displayed blood-flow-induced neutrophil dynamics and demonstrated unexpected leukocyte-endothelial interactions such as leukocyte-induced endothelial deformation against the intravascular pressure. LLSM of phagocytosis and cell death provided subcellular insights and uncovered novel behaviors. Collectively, we provide high-resolution LLSM examples of leukocyte structures (filopodia lamellipodia, uropod extensions, vesicles), and activities (interstitial and intravascular migration, leukocyte rolling, phagocytosis, cell death, and cytoplasmic ballooning). Application of LLSM to intravital leukocyte imaging sets the stage for transformative studies into the cellular and subcellular complexities of phagocyte biology.

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