ResearchPad - animal https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Polyploidy breaks speciation barriers in Australian burrowing frogs <i>Neobatrachus</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16332 Polyploidy or whole genome duplication is rare in animals and usually polyploid animals reproduce asexually. The Australian burrowing frogs of the genus Neobatrachus form an interesting exception amongst vertebrates with multiple independently originated autotetraploid sexual species. We generated population genomic data from 87 animals representing all six diploid and three tetraploid species of Neobatrachus. We show that, while diploid Neobatrachus species seem to be isolated from each other, their sister tetraploid species experience substantial levels of gene flow, and have wider distributions. Furthermore, we observe asymmetric gene flow from diploids to tetraploids. Based on our genomic and climate analyses we suggest that such inter-specific hybridization mediated by whole genome duplication rescues species diversity and allows tetraploids to more easily avoid impacts of climate-induced habitat loss.

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<![CDATA[A MYB transcription factor, <i>BnMYB2</i>, cloned from ramie (<i>Boehmeria nivea</i>) is involved in cadmium tolerance and accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15762 MYB-related transcription factors play important roles in plant development and response to various environmental stresses. In the present study, a novel MYB gene, designated as BnMYB2 (GenBank accession number: MF741319.1), was isolated from Boehmeria nivea using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and RT-PCR on a sequence fragment from a ramie transcriptome. BnMYB2 has a 945 bp open reading frame encoding a 314 amino acid protein that contains a DNA-binding domain and shares high sequence identity with MYB proteins from other plant species. The BnMYB2 promoter contains several putative cis-acting elements involved in stress or phytohormone responses. A translational fusion of BnMYB2 with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) showed nuclear and cytosolic subcellular localization. Real-time PCR results indicated that BnMYB2 expression was induced by Cadmium (Cd) stress. Overexpression of BnMYB2 in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in a significant increase of Cd tolerance and accumulation. Thus, BnMYB2 positively regulated Cd tolerance and accumulation in Arabidopsis, and could be used to enhance the efficiency of Cd removal with plants.

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<![CDATA[Graphene-based 2D constructs for enhanced fibroblast support]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15755 Complex skin wounds have always been a significant health and economic problem worldwide due to their elusive and sometimes poor or non-healing conditions. If not well-treated, such wounds may lead to amputation, infections, cancer, or even death. Thus, there is a need to efficiently generate multifunctional skin grafts that address a wide range of skin conditions, including non-healing wounds, and enable the regeneration of new skin tissue. Here, we propose studying pristine graphene and two of its oxygen-functionalized derivatives—high and low-oxygen graphene films—as potential substrates for skin cell proliferation and differentiation. Using BJ cells (human foreskin-derived fibroblasts) to represent basic skin cells, we show that the changes in surface properties of pristine graphene due to oxygen functionalization do not seem to statistically impact the normal proliferation and maturation of skin cells. Our results indicate that the pristine and oxidized graphenes presented relatively low cytotoxicity to BJ fibroblasts and, in fact, support their growth and bioactivity. Therefore, these graphene films could potentially be integrated into more complex skin regenerative systems to support skin regeneration. Because graphene’s surface can be relatively easily functionalized with various chemical groups, this finding presents a major opportunity for the development of various composite materials that can act as active components in regenerative applications such as skin regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Naringenin mitigates autoimmune features in lupus-prone mice by modulation of T-cell subsets and cytokines profile]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15753 Naringenin is flavonoid mainly found in citrus fruits which has shown several biological properties. In this work, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of the flavonoid Naringenin. Five-month-old B6.MRL-Faslpr/J lupus-prone mice were administered daily orally with Naringenin for seven months. We showed that Naringenin treatment at 50 or 100 mg/kg inhibited the splenomegaly and decreased the levels of anti-nuclear and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies. Furthermore, a reduction in serum concentration of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-6 was observed in the mice provided with Naringenin. Interestingly, serum levels of IL-10 increased. Naringenin decreased the frequency and absolute numbers of splenic effector memory T cells. Additionally, in order to be able to evaluate whether Naringenin prevented kidney damage, twelve-week-old MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/J mice, an accelerated lupus model, were orally administered with Naringenin at 100 mg/kg for six weeks. Surprisingly, Naringenin treatment prevented kidney damage and reduced the development of fibrosis similar to cyclophosphamide group. Moreover, Naringenin treatment increased the percentage of regulatory T cells in this aggressive model of lupus. Together, these results suggest a potential ability of Naringenin to reduce the autoimmunity in lupus-prone mice by modulation of T-cell subsets and cytokines profile that mitigate the development of important lupus clinical manifestations.

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<![CDATA[Canine hip dysplasia screening: Comparison of early evaluation to final grading in 231 dogs with Fédération Cynologique Internationale A and B]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15741 This study aimed to verify if a significant difference exists between parameters in the early evaluation of normal and near-normal hip joints, to evaluate the influence of age and breed on the parameters, and to clarify the usefulness of a total score for differentiating between Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) grade A and B hips.MethodsA total of 231 dogs were classified according to whether they had FCI A or B hips at adulthood, with measurements obtained at 14–28 weeks of age. The total score was calculated by the summation of the following quantitative parameters: angle of subluxation (AS), angle of reduction (AR), laxity index (LI), and dorsal acetabular rim slope (DARS). Logistic regression analysis was performed to establish the probability of the study population to develop an FCI B hip based on the total score. This was repeated for the highest score in combination with the worst-rated hip and once more for breeds.ResultsNo correlation between age and the parameters was found in the cohort, or for FCI A and B. The values of all the parameters were significantly lower in the FCI A group than in the FCI B group (AR: 4.42° ± 6.0° vs 7.62° ± 7.2°; AS: 0.45° ± 1.9° vs 1.55° ± 3.8°; LI: 0.32 ± 0.1 vs 0.36 ± 0.1; DARS: 3.30° ± 1.8° vs 3.77° ± 1.9°; TS: 11.47 ± 8.3 vs 16.65 ± 10.9). Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers showed significant differences between parameters for both FCI grades. The range, where FCI A and B hips can be predicted on the basis of the total score, was different when assessed for the entire cohort, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers.Clinical significanceOur results show that even in normal and near-normal hips, the parameters significantly differed in the early evaluation. Moreover, cutoff values should be set for different breeds in the prediction of the FCI grade during early evaluation for a better breeding selection regarding canine hip dysplasia, one of the most common orthopedic diseases among large and giant breed dogs. ]]> <![CDATA[Levosimendan reduces segmental pulmonary vascular resistance in isolated perfused rat lungs and relaxes human pulmonary vessels]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15739 Levosimendan is approved for acute heart failure. Within this context, pulmonary hypertension represents a frequent co-morbidity. Hence, the effects of levosimendan on segmental pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) are relevant. So far, this issue has been not studied. Beyond that the relaxant effects of levosimendan in human pulmonary vessel are unknown. We addressed these topics in rats’ isolated perfused lungs (IPL) and human precision-cut lung slices (PCLS).Material and methodsIn IPL, levosimendan (10 μM) was perfused in untreated and endothelin-1 pre-contracted lungs. The pulmonary arterial pressure (PPA) was continuously recorded and the capillary pressure (Pcap) was determined by the double-occlusion method. Thereafter, segmental PVR, expressed as precapillary (Rpre) and postcapillary resistance (Rpost) and PVR were calculated. Human PCLS were prepared from patients undergoing lobectomy. Levosimendan-induced relaxation was studied in naïve and endothelin-1 pre-contracted PAs and PVs. In endothelin-1 pre-contracted PAs, the role of K+-channels was studied by inhibition of KATP-channels (glibenclamide), BKCa2+-channels (iberiotoxin) and Kv-channels (4-aminopyridine). All changes of the vascular tone were measured by videomicroscopy. In addition, the increase of cAMP/GMP due to levosimendan was measured by ELISA.ResultsLevosimendan did not relax untreated lungs or naïve PAs and PVs. In IPL, levosimendan attenuated the endothelin-1 induced increase of PPA, PVR, Rpre and Rpost. In human PCLS, levosimendan relaxed pre-contracted PAs or PVs to 137% or 127%, respectively. In pre-contracted PAs, the relaxant effect of levosimendan was reduced, if KATP- and Kv-channels were inhibited. Further, levosimendan increased cGMP in PAs/PVs, but cAMP only in PVs.DiscussionLevosimendan reduces rats’ segmental PVR and relaxes human PAs or PVs, if the pulmonary vascular tone is enhanced by endothelin-1. Regarding levosimendan-induced relaxation, the activation of KATP- and Kv-channels is of impact, as well as the formation of cAMP and cGMP. In conclusion, our results suggest that levosimendan improves pulmonary haemodynamics, if PVR is increased as it is the case in pulmonary hypertension. ]]> <![CDATA[Pathological and genetic aspects of spontaneous mammary gland tumor in <i>Tupaia belangeri</i> (tree shrew)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15738 Mammary gland cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women globally. Incidences of this cancer in Japan are on the increase. Annually, more than 70,000 new cases are recorded in Japan and about 1.7 million in the world. Many cases are still difficult to cure completely, and animal models are required for the characterization of the biology, therapeutic strategy, and preventive measures for spontaneous mammary tumor. The mouse model used currently has some limitations owing to structural differences between mouse and human mammary glands. Tupaia belangeri (tree shrew), which belongs to the Tupaiidae family, shows relatively high genetic homology and structural similarity to human mammary glands. Here, we characterized the spontaneous mammary tumors in 61 female tree shrews of different ages. The incidence rate was 24.6% (15/61), and the rate of simultaneous or metachronous multiplex tumors was 60% (9/15). From the incidence pattern, some cases seemed to be of familial mammary gland tumor, as the offspring of female tree shrews No. 3 and 9 and male tree shrew No. 11 showed a high incidence rate, of 73.3% (11/15). Average incidence age for tumor development was 2 years and 3 months, and the earliest was 10 months. Histochemical analysis indicated that spontaneous mammary gland tumors in the tree shrew show the features of intraductal papillary adenomas (22 cases), except 2 tubulopapillary carcinoma cases (No. 75 and 131). All the cases were positive for the progesterone receptor, whereas 91.3% were positive for the estrogen receptor, and 4.3% were HER-2 positive. We have also confirmed the expression of nectin-4 in some mammary tumor cells. Additionally, we subjected tree shrews to cytodiagnosis or X-ray CT. Thus, the findings of this study highlight the potential of the tree shrew as a valuable new animal model for mammary gland tumor study.

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<![CDATA[The <i>G123</i> rice mutant, carrying a mutation in <i>SE13</i>, presents alterations in the expression patterns of photosynthetic and major flowering regulatory genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15737 Day length is a determinant of flowering time in rice. Phytochromes participate in flowering regulation by measuring the number of daylight hours to which the plant is exposed. Here we describe G123, a rice mutant generated by irradiation, which displays insensitivity to the photoperiod and early flowering under both long day and short day conditions. To detect the mutation responsible for the early flowering phenotype exhibited by G123, we generated an F2 population, derived from crossing with the wild-type, and used a pipeline to detect genomic structural variation, initially developed for human genomes. We detected a deletion in the G123 genome that affects the PHOTOPERIOD SENSITIVITY13 (SE13) gene, which encodes a phytochromobilin synthase, an enzyme implicated in phytochrome chromophore biosynthesis. The transcriptomic analysis, performed by RNA-seq, in the G123 plants indicated an alteration in photosynthesis and other processes related to response to light. The expression patterns of the main flowering regulatory genes, such as Ghd7, Ghd8 and PRR37, were altered in the plants grown under both long day and short day conditions. These findings indicate that phytochromes are also involved in the regulation of these genes under short day conditions, and extend the role of phytochromes in flowering regulation in rice.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Endovascular Stent-Assisted Effects of Various Frequencies of Abdominal Naprapathy on Changes in Gastrointestinal Mucosal Cells in Spleen-Deficient Rabbits]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15238 At certain frequencies, abdominal naprapathy effectively alleviates functional dyspepsia with spleen deficiency. The present study explored the effects of various frequencies of abdominal naprapathy on gastrointestinal mucosal cells in spleen-deficient rabbits.Material/MethodsThe model of spleen deficiency was established by the method of bitter cold and catharsis. The rabbits were treated with various frequencies (50–100 and 201–250 vibrations/min) of abdominal naprapathy.ResultsIn model rabbits, gastrointestinal mucosal thickness was changed, mucosal epithelial cells were necrotic significantly, a large number of inflammatory cells were infiltrated, and duodenal villus were destroyed. The gastrointestinal mucosal cells had different degrees of regeneration and remodeling under various frequencies of abdominal naprapathy intervention. Among them, the abdominal naprapathy with manipulation frequency of 101–150 times/min showed the best effect.ConclusionsThe abdominal naprapathy, especially with frequency of 101~150 times/min, repairs gastrointestinal mucosal injury of spleen-deficiency rabbits. ]]> <![CDATA[Bioinformatics Analysis and High-Throughput Sequencing to Identify Differentially Expressed Genes in <i>Nebulin</i> Gene (<i>NEB</i>) Mutations Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15121 High-throughput sequencing of the pathological tissue of 59 patients with thyroid cancer was compared with the normal population. It was found that the mutation frequency of the Nebulin gene (NEB) at amino acid 1133 locus of thyroid cancer patients was much higher than that of the normal population, suggesting that NEB mutation may be related to thyroid cancer. Therefore, we constructed the NEB mutant mice for further investigation.Material/MethodsThe RNA extracted from the thyroid of wild-type and NEB mutant mice was analyzed by high-throughput sequencing, and the differential expression was analyzed by edgeR software. Several differentially expressed genes were selected for quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) verification, and these genes were analyzed with Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis.ResultsA total of 624 genes were significantly enriched. Analysis of GO function and pathway significant enrichment showed that differentially expressed genes were enriched in thyroid cancer, myocardial contraction, and autoimmune thyroid disease. The qRT-PCR results were consistent with the high-throughput sequencing results.ConclusionsOur data indicate that the expression of some cancer-driving genes and cancer suppressor genes are significantly changed in NEB mutant mice compared to wild-type mice, which suggests that NEB function plays an important role in regulating the expression of cancer-related genes in the thyroid gland. ]]> <![CDATA[Development of plasma and whole blood taurine reference ranges and identification of dietary features associated with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers: A prospective, observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14758 A surge in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumer complaints identified concerns that legume-rich, grain-free diets were associated with nutritionally-mediated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Golden retrievers represent the most reported breed affected by this condition and previous studies documented the disease is responsive to dietary change and taurine supplementation. Although dietary findings across cases are compelling, prospective studies with control groups are lacking. The role of diet in developing taurine deficiency and echocardiographic changes consistent with DCM in healthy dogs is unknown.ObjectivesWe hypothesized that golden retrievers eating non-traditional diets are at a higher risk of having taurine deficiency and nutritionally-mediated DCM compared with those eating traditional commercial diets. We aimed to compare taurine concentrations and echocardiographic indices of systolic function between golden retrievers in each diet group and elucidate associations between diet and these variables. Additionally, we aimed to generate breed-specific reference intervals for whole blood and plasma taurine concentrations.Animals86 golden retrievers.MethodsGolden retrievers eating traditional or non-traditional diets were evaluated and diet history, taurine concentrations and echocardiographic data were collected. Dietary features, taurine concentrations and echocardiographic findings were compared between diet groups. Relative risks were calculated for the likelihood of echocardiographic abnormalities and taurine deficiency in each diet group. Breed-specific reference intervals were constructed for taurine concentrations in dogs from the traditional diet group.ResultsGolden retrievers eating non-traditional diets had significantly lower taurine concentrations and more frequent systolic dysfunction. Breed specific reference intervals are higher than previously reported across breeds.ConclusionsNon-traditional diets, which were typically grain-free and contained legumes in this study, were significantly associated with and have increased relative risk for the identification of taurine deficiency and echocardiographic abnormalities consistent with nutritionally-mediated DCM. These findings were identifiable in the absence of clinical signs and support the findings of multiple previous studies and the ongoing FDA investigation. ]]> <![CDATA[Behavioral differences at scent stations between two exploited species of desert canids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14757 Coyotes (Canis latrans) and kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) are desert canids that share ecological similarities, but have disparate histories with anthropogenic pressure that may influence their responses towards novel stimuli. We used remote cameras to investigate response to novel stimuli for these two species. We predicted that coyotes (heavily pressured species) would be more wary towards novel stimuli on unprotected land (canid harvest activities are permitted) than in protected areas (canid harvest activities are not permitted), whereas kit foxes (less pressured species) would exhibit no difference. We examined differences in the investigative behaviors at 660 scent stations in both protected and unprotected areas. Coyotes showed no differences between protected and unprotected land and were generally more wary than kit foxes, supporting our prediction. Kit foxes were more investigative on protected land, contrary to our expectations. Our study provides evidence that anthropogenic pressure can alter the behaviors of wildlife species.

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<![CDATA[Human papillomavirus E7 binds Oct4 and regulates its activity in HPV-associated cervical cancers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14755 The transcription factor Oct4 with well-known roles in embryogenesis, pluripotency and cellular reprogramming has recently been found to be expressed in several types of somatic tumors. Even though its role in cancer remains controversial, we provide evidence that Oct4 is expressed in cervical cancer tissues and cancer cell lines. The viral oncogenes of the Human Papillomavirus significantly elevate Oct4 expression both in normal and cancer cells, likely through transcriptional upregulation. While the expression levels of Oct4 in cancer are low compared to those seen in stem cells, our results suggest that they are still consequential to cell proliferation, self-renewal, and migration. We demonstrate a physical interaction of the E7 oncoprotein with Oct4, mapping to the CR3 region of E7, which correlates to a distinct Oct4 transcriptional output. Introduction of E7 into HPV(-) cells and immortalised human keratinocytes led to transcriptional and phenotypic changes, which mimicked results in HPV(+) cells. These insights provide a plausible mechanism and consequences for a long-suspected interaction.

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<![CDATA[The <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> CUB-like-domain containing protein RBT-1 functions as a receptor for <i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i> Cry6Aa toxin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14753 Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal proteins belong to pore-forming toxins (PFTs), which display virulence against target hosts by forming holes in the cell membrane. Cry6A is a nematicidal PFT, which exhibits unique protein structure and different mode of action than Cry5B, another nematicidal PFT. However, little is known about the mode of action of Cry6A. Although an intracellular nematicidal necrosis pathway of Cry6A was reported, its extracellular mode of action remains unknown. We here demonstrate that the CUB-like-domain containing protein RBT-1 acts as a functional receptor of Cry6A, which mediates the intestinal cell interaction and nematicidal activity of this toxin. RBT-1 represents a new class of crystal protein receptors. RBT-1 is dispensable for Cry5B toxicity against nematodes, consistent with that Cry6A and Cry5B have different nematicidal mechanisms. We also find that Cry6A kills nematodes by complex mechanism since rbt-1 mutation did not affect Cry6A-mediated necrosis signaling pathway. This work not only enhances the understanding of Bt crystal protein-nematode mechanism, but is also in favor for the application of Cry6A in nematode control.

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<![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14752 The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

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<![CDATA[iterb-PPse: Identification of transcriptional terminators in bacterial by incorporating nucleotide properties into PseKNC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14750 Terminator is a DNA sequence that gives the RNA polymerase the transcriptional termination signal. Identifying terminators correctly can optimize the genome annotation, more importantly, it has considerable application value in disease diagnosis and therapies. However, accurate prediction methods are deficient and in urgent need. Therefore, we proposed a prediction method “iterb-PPse” for terminators by incorporating 47 nucleotide properties into PseKNC-Ⅰ and PseKNC-Ⅱ and utilizing Extreme Gradient Boosting to predict terminators based on Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Combing with the preceding methods, we employed three new feature extraction methods K-pwm, Base-content, Nucleotidepro to formulate raw samples. The two-step method was applied to select features. When identifying terminators based on optimized features, we compared five single models as well as 16 ensemble models. As a result, the accuracy of our method on benchmark dataset achieved 99.88%, higher than the existing state-of-the-art predictor iTerm-PseKNC in 100 times five-fold cross-validation test. Its prediction accuracy for two independent datasets reached 94.24% and 99.45% respectively. For the convenience of users, we developed a software on the basis of “iterb-PPse” with the same name. The open software and source code of “iterb-PPse” are available at https://github.com/Sarahyouzi/iterb-PPse.

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<![CDATA[Single-cell amplicon sequencing reveals community structures and transmission trends of protist-associated bacteria in a termite host]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14746 The hindgut protists of wood-feeding termites are usually colonized by prokaryotic symbionts. Many of the hurdles that have prevented a better understanding of these symbionts arise from variation among protist and termite host species and the inability to maintain prominent community members in culture. These issues have made it difficult to study the fidelity, acquisition, and differences in colonization of protists by bacterial symbionts. In this study, we use high throughput amplicon sequencing of the V4 region of 16S rRNA genes to determine the composition of bacterial communities associated with single protist cells of six protist species, from the genera Pyrsonympha, Dinenympha, and Trichonympha that are present in the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. By analyzing amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the diversity and distribution of protist-associated bacteria was compared within and across these six different protist species. ASV analysis showed that, in general, each protist genus associated with a distinct community of bacterial symbionts which were conserved across different termite colonies. However, some ASVs corresponding to ectosymbionts (Spirochaetes) were shared between different Dinenympha species and to a lesser extent with Pyrsonympha and Trichonympha hosts. This suggested that certain bacterial symbionts may be cosmopolitan to some degree and perhaps acquired by horizontal transmission. Using a fluorescence-based cell assay, we could observe the horizontal acquisition of surface-bound bacteria. This acquisition was shown to be time-dependent, involve active processes, and was non-random with respect to binding locations on some protists.

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<![CDATA[The transition from local to global patterns governs the differentiation of mouse blastocysts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14745 During mammalian blastocyst development, inner cell mass (ICM) cells differentiate into epiblast (Epi) or primitive endoderm (PrE). These two fates are characterized by the expression of the transcription factors NANOG and GATA6, respectively. Here, we investigate the spatio-temporal distribution of NANOG and GATA6 expressing cells in the ICM of the mouse blastocysts with quantitative three-dimensional single cell-based neighbourhood analyses. We define the cell neighbourhood by local features, which include the expression levels of both fate markers expressed in each cell and its neighbours, and the number of neighbouring cells. We further include the position of a cell relative to the centre of the ICM as a global positional feature. Our analyses reveal a local three-dimensional pattern that is already present in early blastocysts: 1) Cells expressing the highest NANOG levels are surrounded by approximately nine neighbours, while 2) cells expressing GATA6 cluster according to their GATA6 levels. This local pattern evolves into a global pattern in the ICM that starts to emerge in mid blastocysts. We show that FGF/MAPK signalling is involved in the three-dimensional distribution of the cells and, using a mutant background, we further show that the GATA6 neighbourhood is regulated by NANOG. Our quantitative study suggests that the three-dimensional cell neighbourhood plays a role in Epi and PrE precursor specification. Our results highlight the importance of analysing the three-dimensional cell neighbourhood while investigating cell fate decisions during early mouse embryonic development.

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<![CDATA[SULF1 suppresses Wnt3A-driven growth of bone metastatic prostate cancer in perlecan-modified 3D cancer-stroma-macrophage triculture models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14741 Bone marrow stroma influences metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) progression, latency, and recurrence. At sites of PCa bone metastasis, cancer-associated fibroblasts and tumor-associated macrophages interact to establish a perlecan-rich desmoplastic stroma. As a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, perlecan (HSPG2) stores and stabilizes growth factors, including heparin-binding Wnt3A, a positive regulator of PCa cell growth. Because PCa cells alone do not induce CAF production of perlecan in the desmoplastic stroma, we sought to discover the sources of perlecan and its growth factor-releasing modifiers SULF1, SULF2, and heparanase in PCa cells and xenografts, bone marrow fibroblasts, and macrophages. SULF1, produced primarily by bone marrow fibroblasts, was the main glycosaminoglycanase present, a finding validated with primary tissue specimens of PCa metastases with desmoplastic bone stroma. Expression of both HSPG2 and SULF1 was concentrated in αSMA-rich stroma near PCa tumor nests, where infiltrating pro-tumor TAMs also were present. To decipher SULF1’s role in the reactive bone stroma, we created a bone marrow biomimetic hydrogel incorporating perlecan, PCa cells, macrophages, and fibroblastic bone marrow stromal cells. Finding that M2-like macrophages increased levels of SULF1 and HSPG2 produced by fibroblasts, we examined SULF1 function in Wnt3A-mediated PCa tumoroid growth in tricultures. Comparing control or SULF1 knockout fibroblastic cells, we showed that SULF1 reduces Wnt3A-driven growth, cellularity, and cluster number of PCa cells in our 3D model. We conclude that SULF1 can suppress Wnt3A-driven growth signals in the desmoplastic stroma of PCa bone metastases, and SULF1 loss favors PCa progression, even in the presence of pro-tumorigenic TAMs.

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<![CDATA[The influenza replication blocking inhibitor LASAG does not sensitize human epithelial cells for bacterial infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14740 Severe influenza virus (IV) infections still represent a major challenge to public health. To combat IV infections, vaccines and antiviral compounds are available. However, vaccine efficacies vary with very limited to no protection against newly emerging zoonotic IV introductions. In addition, the development of resistant virus variants against currently available antivirals can be rapidly detected, in consequence demanding the design of novel antiviral strategies. Virus supportive cellular signaling cascades, such as the NF-κB pathway, have been identified to be promising antiviral targets against IV in in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical trials. While administration of NF-κB pathway inhibiting agents, such as LASAG results in decreased IV replication, it remained unclear whether blocking of NF-κB might sensitize cells to secondary bacterial infections, which often come along with viral infections. Thus, we examined IV and Staphylococcus aureus growth during LASAG treatment. Interestingly, our data reveal that the presence of LASAG during superinfection still leads to reduced IV titers. Furthermore, the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway resulted in decreased intracellular Staphylococcus aureus loads within epithelial cells, indicating a dependency on the pathway for bacterial uptake. Unfortunately, so far it is not entirely clear if this phenomenon might be a drawback in bacterial clearance during infection.

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