ResearchPad - Cell Biology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Intelligent classification of platelet aggregates by agonist type]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N05619c97-c4f3-4d90-8c08-4c8b3892035d

Platelets are anucleate cells in blood whose principal function is to stop bleeding by forming aggregates for hemostatic reactions. In addition to their participation in physiological hemostasis, platelet aggregates are also involved in pathological thrombosis and play an important role in inflammation, atherosclerosis, and cancer metastasis. The aggregation of platelets is elicited by various agonists, but these platelet aggregates have long been considered indistinguishable and impossible to classify. Here we present an intelligent method for classifying them by agonist type. It is based on a convolutional neural network trained by high-throughput imaging flow cytometry of blood cells to identify and differentiate subtle yet appreciable morphological features of platelet aggregates activated by different types of agonists. The method is a powerful tool for studying the underlying mechanism of platelet aggregation and is expected to open a window on an entirely new class of clinical diagnostics, pharmacometrics, and therapeutics.

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<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of Bacillus cereus and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5b151d82-6b14-4a7f-beb8-82f649a56498

Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

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<![CDATA[Extensive multilineage analysis in patients with mixed chimerism after allogeneic transplantation for sickle cell disease: insight into hematopoiesis and engraftment thresholds for gene therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N45d881d7-7b5d-4145-9a50-5e210d91e755

Although studies of mixed chimerism following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) may provide insights into the engraftment needed to correct the disease and into immunological reconstitution, an extensive multilineage analysis is lacking. We analyzed chimerism simultaneously in peripheral erythroid and granulomonocytic precursors/progenitors, highly purified B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, granulocytes and red blood cells (RBC). Thirty-four patients with mixed chimerism and ≥12 months of follow-up were included. A selective advantage of donor RBC and their progenitors/precursors led to full chimerism in mature RBC (despite partial engraftment of other lineages), and resulted in the clinical control of the disease. Six patients with donor chimerism <50% had hemolysis (reticulocytosis) and higher HbS than their donor. Four of them had donor chimerism <30%, including a patient with AA donor (hemoglobin >10 g/dL) and three with AS donors (hemoglobin <10 g/dL). However, only one vaso-occlusive crisis occurred with 68.7% HbS. Except in the patients with the lowest chimerism, the donor engraftment was lower for T cells than for the other lineages. In a context of mixed chimerism after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for SCD, myeloid (rather than T cell) engraftment was the key efficacy criterion. Results show that myeloid chimerism as low as 30% was sufficient to prevent a vaso-occlusive crisis in transplants from an AA donor but not constantly from an AS donor. However, the correction of hemolysis requires higher donor chimerism levels (i.e. ≥50%) in both AA and AS recipients. In the future, this group of patients may need a different therapeutic approach.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced genome editing in human iPSCs with CRISPR-CAS9 by co-targeting ATP1a1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N15f2ecb1-82df-41f3-9520-a4bd60a5f2fe

Genome editing in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides the potential for disease modeling and cell therapy. By generating iPSCs with specific mutations, researchers can differentiate the modified cells to their lineage of interest for further investigation. However, the low efficiency of targeting in iPSCs has hampered the application of genome editing. In this study we used a CRISPR-Cas9 system that introduces a specific point substitution into the sequence of the Na+/K+-ATPase subunit ATP1A1. The introduced mutation confers resistance to cardiac glycosides, which can then be used to select successfully targeted cells. Using this system, we introduced different formats of donor DNA for homology-directed repair (HDR), including single-strand DNAs, double-strand DNAs, and plasmid donors. We achieved a 35-fold increase in HDR when using plasmid donor with a 400 bp repair template. We further co-targeted ATP1A1 and a second locus of interest to determine the enrichment of mutagenesis after cardiac glycoside selection. Through this approach, INDEL rate was increased after cardiac glycoside treatment, while HDR enrichment was only observed at certain loci. Collectively, these results suggest that a plasmid donor with a 400 bp repair template is an optimal donor DNA for targeted substitution and co-targeting ATP1A1 with the second locus enriches for mutagenesis events through cardiac glycoside selection in human iPSCs.

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<![CDATA[The GAR domain integrates functions that are necessary for the proper localization of fibrillarin (FBL) inside eukaryotic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7b58627b-d58f-4103-8a4f-5386839b85f8

Fibrillarin (FBL) is an essential nucleolar protein that participates in pre-rRNA methylation and processing. The methyltransferase domain of FBL is an example of an extremely well-conserved protein domain in which the amino acid sequence was not substantially modified during the evolution from Archaea to Eukaryota. An additional N-terminal glycine–arginine-rich (GAR) domain is present in the FBL of eukaryotes. Here, we demonstrate that the GAR domain is involved in FBL functioning and integrates the functions of the nuclear localization signal and the nucleolar localization signal (NoLS). The methylation of the arginine residues in the GAR domain is necessary for nuclear import but decreases the efficiency of nucleolar retention via the NoLS. The presented data indicate that the GAR domain can be considered an evolutionary innovation that integrates several functional activities and thereby adapts FBL to the highly compartmentalized content of the eukaryotic cell.

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<![CDATA[Protein phosphatase 1 activity controls a balance between collective and single cell modes of migration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Neec4725b-f287-45ea-98b2-be458703a041

Collective cell migration is central to many developmental and pathological processes. However, the mechanisms that keep cell collectives together and coordinate movement of multiple cells are poorly understood. Using the Drosophila border cell migration model, we find that Protein phosphatase 1 (Pp1) activity controls collective cell cohesion and migration. Inhibition of Pp1 causes border cells to round up, dissociate, and move as single cells with altered motility. We present evidence that Pp1 promotes proper levels of cadherin-catenin complex proteins at cell-cell junctions within the cluster to keep border cells together. Pp1 further restricts actomyosin contractility to the cluster periphery rather than at individual internal border cell contacts. We show that the myosin phosphatase Pp1 complex, which inhibits non-muscle myosin-II (Myo-II) activity, coordinates border cell shape and cluster cohesion. Given the high conservation of Pp1 complexes, this study identifies Pp1 as a major regulator of collective versus single cell migration.

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<![CDATA[Control of brown adipose tissue adaptation to nutrient stress by the activin receptor ALK7]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N8da7d9e7-5767-4b2e-be84-f4c3ee8d6aa6

Adaptation to nutrient availability is crucial for survival. Upon nutritional stress, such as during prolonged fasting or cold exposure, organisms need to balance the feeding of tissues and the maintenance of body temperature. The mechanisms that regulate the adaptation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a key organ for non-shivering thermogenesis, to variations in nutritional state are not known. Here we report that specific deletion of the activin receptor ALK7 in BAT resulted in fasting-induced hypothermia due to exaggerated catabolic activity in brown adipocytes. After overnight fasting, BAT lacking ALK7 showed increased expression of genes responsive to nutrient stress, including the upstream regulator KLF15, aminoacid catabolizing enzymes, notably proline dehydrogenase (POX), and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), as well as markedly reduced lipid droplet size. In agreement with this, ligand stimulation of ALK7 suppressed POX and KLF15 expression in both mouse and human brown adipocytes. Treatment of mutant mice with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 restored KLF15 and POX expression levels in mutant BAT, suggesting that loss of BAT ALK7 results in excessive activation of glucocorticoid signaling upon fasting. These results reveal a novel signaling pathway downstream of ALK7 which regulates the adaptation of BAT to nutrient availability by limiting nutrient stress-induced overactivation of catabolic responses in brown adipocytes.

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<![CDATA[Correction: Endothelial PKA activity regulates angiogenesis by limiting autophagy through phosphorylation of ATG16L1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N63d19ade-13da-4b37-a1de-55afc96d0697 ]]> <![CDATA[Incomplete immune reconstitution in HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy: Challenges of immunological non‐responders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N484aeac8-0ce1-4cf2-9d01-c941b735b83f

Abstract

The morbidity and mortality of HIV type‐1 (HIV‐1)‐related diseases were dramatically diminished by the grounds of the introduction of potent antiretroviral therapy, which induces persistent suppression of HIV‐1 replication and gradual recovery of CD4+ T‐cell counts. However, ∼10–40% of HIV‐1‐infected individuals fail to achieve normalization of CD4+ T‐cell counts despite persistent virological suppression. These patients are referred to as “inadequate immunological responders,” “immunodiscordant responders,” or “immunological non‐responders (INRs)” who show severe immunological dysfunction. Indeed, INRs are at an increased risk of clinical progression to AIDS and non‐AIDS events and present higher rates of mortality than HIV‐1‐infected individuals with adequate immune reconstitution. To date, the underlying mechanism of incomplete immune reconstitution in HIV‐1‐infected patients has not been fully elucidated. In light of this limitation, it is of substantial practical significance to deeply understand the mechanism of immune reconstitution and design effective individualized treatment strategies. Therefore, in this review, we aim to highlight the mechanism and risk factors of incomplete immune reconstitution and strategies to intervene.

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<![CDATA[Retromer subunit, VPS29, regulates synaptic transmission and is required for endolysosomal function in the aging brain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5248f9c2-e521-4c91-8b44-9718377bb06d

Retromer, including Vps35, Vps26, and Vps29, is a protein complex responsible for recycling proteins within the endolysosomal pathway. Although implicated in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, our understanding of retromer function in the adult brain remains limited, in part because Vps35 and Vps26 are essential for development. In Drosophila, we find that Vps29 is dispensable for embryogenesis but required for retromer function in aging adults, including for synaptic transmission, survival, and locomotion. Unexpectedly, in Vps29 mutants, Vps35 and Vps26 proteins are normally expressed and associated, but retromer is mislocalized from neuropil to soma with the Rab7 GTPase. Further, Vps29 phenotypes are suppressed by reducing Rab7 or overexpressing the GTPase activating protein, TBC1D5. With aging, retromer insufficiency triggers progressive endolysosomal dysfunction, with ultrastructural evidence of impaired substrate clearance and lysosomal stress. Our results reveal the role of Vps29 in retromer localization and function, highlighting requirements for brain homeostasis in aging.

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<![CDATA[STK25 suppresses Hippo signaling by regulating SAV1-STRIPAK antagonism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N9b5ab53f-2620-46c6-bdce-90efce0a25ac

The MST-LATS kinase cascade is central to the Hippo pathway that controls tissue homeostasis, development, and organ size. The PP2A complex STRIPAKSLMAP blocks MST1/2 activation. The GCKIII family kinases associate with STRIPAK, but the functions of these phosphatase-associated kinases remain elusive. We previously showed that the scaffolding protein SAV1 promotes Hippo signaling by counteracting STRIPAK (Bae et al., 2017). Here, we show that the GCKIII kinase STK25 promotes STRIPAK-mediated inhibition of MST2 in human cells. Depletion of STK25 enhances MST2 activation without affecting the integrity of STRIPAKSLMAP. STK25 directly phosphorylates SAV1 and diminishes the ability of SAV1 to inhibit STRIPAK. Thus, STK25 as the kinase component of STRIPAK can inhibit the function of the STRIPAK inhibitor SAV1. This mutual antagonism between STRIPAK and SAV1 controls the initiation of Hippo signaling.

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<![CDATA[Immune response of human cultured cells towards macrocyclic Fe2PO and Fe2PC bioactive cyclophane complexes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N4e5acb53-8fca-435c-ba36-e01892f101b2

Synthetic molecules that mimic the function of natural enzymes or molecules have untapped potential for use in the next generation of drugs. Cyclic compounds that contain aromatic rings are macrocyclic cyclophanes, and when they coordinate iron ions are of particular interest due to their antioxidant and biomimetic properties. However, little is known about the molecular responses at the cellular level. This study aims to evaluate the changes in immune gene expression in human cells exposed to the cyclophanes Fe2PO and Fe2PC. Confluent human embryonic kidney cells were exposed to either the cyclophane Fe2PO or Fe2PC before extraction of RNA. The expression of a panel of innate and adaptive immune genes was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Evidence was found for an inflammatory response elicited by the cyclophane exposures. After 8 h of exposure, the cells increased the relative expression of inflammatory mediators such as interleukin 1; IRAK, which transduces signals between interleukin 1 receptors and the NFκB pathway; and the LPS pattern recognition receptor CD14. After 24 h of exposure, regulatory genes begin to counter the inflammation, as some genes involved in oxidative stress, apoptosis and non-inflammatory immune responses come into play. Both Fe2PO and Fe2PC induced similar immunogenetic changes in transcription profiles, but equal molar doses of Fe2PC resulted in more robust responses. These data suggest that further work in whole animal models may provide more insights into the extent of systemic physiological changes induced by these cyclophanes.

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<![CDATA[A single-parasite transcriptional atlas of Toxoplasma Gondii reveals novel control of antigen expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N0ce17ea8-e2c2-435f-bd9c-611c39e827f4

Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite, undergoes a complex and poorly understood developmental process that is critical for establishing a chronic infection in its intermediate hosts. Here, we applied single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) on >5,400 Toxoplasma in both tachyzoite and bradyzoite stages using three widely studied strains to construct a comprehensive atlas of cell-cycle and asexual development, revealing hidden states and transcriptional factors associated with each developmental stage. Analysis of SAG1-related sequence (SRS) antigenic repertoire reveals a highly heterogeneous, sporadic expression pattern unexplained by measurement noise, cell cycle, or asexual development. Furthermore, we identified AP2IX-1 as a transcription factor that controls the switching from the ubiquitous SAG1 to rare surface antigens not previously observed in tachyzoites. In addition, comparative analysis between Toxoplasma and Plasmodium scRNA-seq results reveals concerted expression of gene sets, despite fundamental differences in cell division. Lastly, we built an interactive data-browser for visualization of our atlas resource.

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<![CDATA[Citrate lyase CitE in Mycobacterium tuberculosis contributes to mycobacterial survival under hypoxic conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5c16b8fb-2363-48af-bce8-dbbca8329b25

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis and has evolved an ability to survive in hostile host environments. M. tuberculosis is thought to utilize the rTCA cycle to sustain its latent growth during infection, but the enzymatic characteristics and physiological function for the key citrate lyase of the rTCA cycle, MtbCitE, in the important pathogen remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the function of MtbCitE based on its structural properties and sequence comparisons with other bacterial citrate lyase subunits. We showed that several amino acid residues were important for the citrate cleavage activity of MtbCitE. Strikingly, the citrate cleavage activity of MtbCitE was inhibited by ATP, indicating that energy metabolism might couple with the regulation of MtbCitE activity, which differed from other CitEs. More interestingly, deletion of citE from Mycobacterium bovis BCG decreased the mycobacterial survival rate under hypoxic conditions, whereas complementation with citE restored the phenotype to wild-type levels. Consistently, three key rTCA cycle enzymes were positively regulated under hypoxic conditions in mycobacteria. Therefore, we characterized a unique citrate lyase MtbCitE from M. tuberculosis and found that the CitE protein significantly contributed to mycobacterial survival under hypoxic conditions.

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<![CDATA[Influence of the tubular network on the characteristics of calcium transients in cardiac myocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7f446290-780e-4486-a1de-95187c6060a1

Transverse and axial tubules (TATS) are an essential ingredient of the excitation-contraction machinery that allow the effective coupling of L-type Calcium Channels (LCC) and ryanodine receptors (RyR2). They form a regular network in ventricular cells, while their presence in atrial myocytes is variable regionally and among animal species We have studied the effect of variations in the TAT network using a bidomain computational model of an atrial myocyte with variable density of tubules. At each z-line the t-tubule length is obtained from an exponential distribution, with a given mean penetration length. This gives rise to a distribution of t-tubules in the cell that is characterized by the fractional area (F.A.) occupied by the t-tubules. To obtain consistent results, we average over different realizations of the same mean penetration length. To this, in some simulations we add the effect of a network of axial tubules. Then we study global properties of calcium signaling, as well as regional heterogeneities and local properties of sparks and RyR2 openings. In agreement with recent experiments in detubulated ventricular and atrial cells, we find that detubulation reduces the calcium transient and synchronization in release. However, it does not affect sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) load, so the decrease in SR calcium release is due to regional differences in Ca2+ release, that is restricted to the cell periphery in detubulated cells. Despite the decrease in release, the release gain is larger in detubulated cells, due to recruitment of orphaned RyR2s, i.e, those that are not confronting a cluster of LCCs. This probably provides a safeguard mechanism, allowing physiological values to be maintained upon small changes in the t-tubule density. Finally, we do not find any relevant change in spark properties between tubulated and detubulated cells, suggesting that the differences found in experiments could be due to differential properties of the RyR2s in the membrane and in the t-tubules, not incorporated in the present model. This work will help understand the effect of detubulation, that has been shown to occur in disease conditions such as heart failure (HF) in ventricular cells, or atrial fibrillation (AF) in atrial cells.

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<![CDATA[Opposing effects of HNP1 (α-defensin-1) on plasma cholesterol and atherogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ndf7081dd-c312-4392-aa9c-ddf6cf67dfa0

Atherosclerosis, the predominant cause of death in well-resourced countries, may develop in the presence of plasma lipid levels within the normal range. Inflammation may contribute to lesion development in these individuals, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Transgenic mice expressing α-def-1 released from activated neutrophils develop larger lipid and macrophage-rich lesions in the proximal aortae notwithstanding hypocholesterolemia caused by accelerated clearance of α-def-1/low-density lipoprotein (LDL) complexes from the plasma. The phenotype does not develop when the release of α-def-1 is prevented with colchicine. However, ApoE-/- mice crossed with α-def-1 mice or given exogenous α-def-1 develop smaller aortic lesions associated with reduced plasma cholesterol, suggesting a protective effect of accelerated LDL clearance. Experiments were performed to address this seeming paradox and to determine if α-def-1 might provide a means to lower cholesterol and thereby attenuate atherogenesis. We confirmed that exposing ApoE-/- mice to α-def-1 lowers total plasma cholesterol and decreases lesion size. However, lesion size was larger than in mice with total plasma cholesterol lowered to the same extent by inhibiting its adsorption or by ingesting a low-fat diet. Furthermore, α-def-1 levels correlated independently with lesion size in ApoE-/- mice. These studies show that α-def-1 has competing effects on atherogenesis. Although α-def-1 accelerates LDL clearance from plasma, it also stimulates deposition and retention of LDL in the vasculature, which may contribute to development of atherosclerosis in individuals with normal or even low plasma levels of cholesterol. Inhibiting α-def-1 may attenuate the impact of chronic inflammation on atherosclerotic vascular disease.

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<![CDATA[Communication is key: Mother-offspring signaling can affect behavioral responses and offspring survival in feral horses (Equus caballus)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nfc9766a8-2564-4088-9a49-707302d05531

Acoustic signaling plays an important role in mother-offspring recognition and subsequent bond-formation. It remains unclear, however, if mothers and offspring use acoustic signaling in the same ways and for the same reasons throughout the juvenile stage, particularly after mutual recognition has been adequately established. Moreover, despite its critical role in mother-offspring bond formation, research explicitly linking mother-infant communication strategies to offspring survival are lacking. We examined the communicative patterns of mothers and offspring in the feral horse (Equus caballus) to better understand 1) the nature of mother-offspring communication throughout the first year of development; 2) the function(s) of mother- vs. offspring-initiated communication and; 3) the importance of mare and foal communication to offspring survival. We found that 1) mares and foals differ in when and how they initiate communication; 2) the outcomes of mare- vs. foal-initiated communication events consistently differ; and 3) the communicative patterns between mares and their foals can be important for offspring survival to one year of age. Moreover, given the importance of maternal activity to offspring behavior and subsequent survival, we submit that our data are uniquely positioned to address the long-debated question: do the behaviors exhibited during the juvenile stage (by both mothers and their young) confer delayed or immediate benefits to offspring? In summary, we aimed to better understand 1) the dynamics of mother-offspring communication, 2) whether mother-offspring communicative patterns were important to offspring survival, and 3) the implications of our research regarding the function of the mammalian juvenile stage. Our results demonstrate that we have achieved those aims.

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<![CDATA[Cobalt ion interaction with TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel: Inhibition and potentiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nba3bff3f-41a4-460d-bc9b-3a7adada8996

TMEM16A, a Ca2+-sensitive Cl- channel, plays key roles in many physiological functions related to Cl- transport across lipid membranes. Activation of this channel is mediated via binding intracellular Ca2+ to the channel with a relatively high apparent affinity, roughly in the sub-μM to low μM concentration range. Recently available high-resolution structures of TMEM16 molecules reveal that the high-affinity Ca2+ activation sites are formed by several acidic amino acids, using their negatively charged sidechain carboxylates to coordinate the bound Ca2+. In this study, we examine the interaction of TMEM16A with a divalent cation, Co2+, which by itself cannot activate current in TMEM16A. This divalent cation, however, has two effects when applied intracellularly. It inhibits the Ca2+-induced TMEM16A current by competing with Ca2+ for the aforementioned high-affinity activation sites. In addition, Co2+ also potentiates the Ca2+-induced current with a low affinity. This potentiation effect requires high concentration (mM) of Co2+, similar to our previous findings that high concentrations (mM) of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) can induce more TMEM16A current after the Ca2+-activation sites are saturated by tens of μM [Ca2+]i. The degrees of potentiation by Co2+ and Ca2+ also roughly correlate with each other. Interestingly, mutating a pore residue of TMEM16A, Y589, alters the degree of potentiation in that the smaller the sidechain of the replaced residue, the larger the potentiation induced by divalent cations. We suggest that the Co2+ potentiation and the Ca2+ potentiation share a similar mechanism by increasing Cl- flux through the channel pore, perhaps due to an increase of positive pore potential after the binding of divalent cations to phospholipids in the pore. A smaller sidechain of a pore residue may allow the pore to accommodate more phospholipids, thus enhancing the current potentiation caused by high concentrations of divalent cations.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective effects of exogenous erythropoietin in Wistar rats by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated retinal ganglion cells death]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N85685bba-c047-422b-abfc-358a98ed1fe7

The aim of this study was to investigate whether exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) administration attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage in Wistar rats. The survival rate of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated by flat mount analysis and flow cytometry. A total of 125 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to five groups: negative control, NMDA80 (i.e., 80 nmoles NMDA intravitreally injected), NMDA80 + 10ng EPO, NMDA80 + 50ng EPO, and NMDA80 + 250ng EPO. The NMDA80 + 50ng EPO treatment group was used to evaluate various administrated points (pre-/co-/post- administration of NMDA80). Meanwhile, the transferase dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay of RGCs, the inner plexiform layer (IPL) thickness and the apoptotic signal transduction pathways of μ-calpain, Bax, and caspase 9 were assessed simultaneously using an immunohistochemical method (IHC). When EPO was co-administered with NMDA80, attenuated cell death occurred through the downregulation of the apoptotic indicators: μ-calpain was activated first (peak at ~18hrs), followed by Bax and caspase 9 (peak at ~40hrs). Furthermore, the images of retinal cross sections have clearly demonstrated that thickness of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) was significantly recovered at 40 hours after receiving intravitreal injection with NMDA80 and 50ng EPO. Exogenous EPO may protect RGCs and bipolar cell axon terminals in IPL by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate NMDA-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage.

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<![CDATA[Role of MPK4 in pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered alternative splicing in Arabidopsis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N4009e20f-330a-49f1-8a3f-309ba227a41c

Alternative splicing (AS) of pre-mRNAs in plants is an important mechanism of gene regulation in environmental stress tolerance but plant signals involved are essentially unknown. Pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) is mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinases and the majority of PTI defense genes are regulated by MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6. These responses have been mainly analyzed at the transcriptional level, however many splicing factors are direct targets of MAPKs. Here, we studied alternative splicing induced by the PAMP flagellin in Arabidopsis. We identified 506 PAMP-induced differentially alternatively spliced (DAS) genes. Importantly, of the 506 PAMP-induced DAS genes, only 89 overlap with the set of 1950 PAMP-induced differentially expressed genes (DEG), indicating that transcriptome analysis does not identify most DAS events. Global DAS analysis of mpk3, mpk4, and mpk6 mutants in the absence of PAMP treatment showed no major splicing changes. However, in contrast to MPK3 and MPK6, MPK4 was found to be a key regulator of PAMP-induced DAS events as the AS of a number of splicing factors and immunity-related protein kinases is affected, such as the calcium-dependent protein kinase CPK28, the cysteine-rich receptor like kinases CRK13 and CRK29 or the FLS2 co-receptor SERK4/BKK1. Although MPK4 is guarded by SUMM2 and consequently, the mpk4 dwarf and DEG phenotypes are suppressed in mpk4 summ2 mutants, MPK4-dependent DAS is not suppressed by SUMM2, supporting the notion that PAMP-triggered MPK4 activation mediates regulation of alternative splicing.

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