ResearchPad - chemical-characterization https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[A Photonic crystal fiber with large effective refractive index separation and low dispersion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14637 A photonic crystal fiber (PCF) structure with a ring-core and 5 well-ordered semiellipse air-holes has been creatively proposed. Through a comparison between the structures with a high refractive index (RI) ring-core and the structure without, it conclude that a PCF with a high RI ring-core can work better. Schott SF57 was elected as the substrate material of ring-core. This paper compares the effects of long-axis and short-axis changes on the PCF and selects the optimal solution. Especially TE0,1 mode’s dispersion is maintained between 0 and 3 ps / (nm · km) ranging from 1.45 μm to 1.65 μm. This property can be used to generate a supercontinuum with 200 μm long zero dispersion wavelength (ZDM). In addition, Δneff reaches up to 10−3, which enables the near -degeneracy of the eigenmodes to be almost neglected. The proposed PCF structure will have great application value in the field of optical communications.

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<![CDATA[Zinc isotope variations in archeological human teeth (Lapa do Santo, Brazil) reveal dietary transitions in childhood and no contamination from gloves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14585 Zinc (Zn) isotope ratios of dental enamel are a promising tracer for dietary reconstruction in archeology, but its use is still in its infancy. A recent study demonstrated a high risk of Zn contamination from nitrile, and latex gloves used during chemical sample preparation. Here we assess the potential impact of the use of such gloves during enamel sampling on the Zn isotope composition of teeth from a population of early Holocene hunter gatherers from Lapa do Santo, Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. We first examined the amount of Zn and its isotopic composition released from the gloves used in this study by soaking them in weak nitric acid and water. We compared Zn isotope ratios obtained from teeth that were sampled wearing nitrile, latex or no gloves. Finally, we performed a linear mixed model (LMM) to investigate post hoc the relationship between the gloves used for sampling and the Zn isotope variability in dental enamel. We found that the gloves used in this study released a similar amount of Zn compared to previous work, but only in acidic solution. Zn isotope ratios of teeth and the LMM identified no sign of significant Zn coming from the gloves when teeth were handled for enamel sampling. We hypothesize that Zn in gloves is mostly released by contact with acids. We found that the main source of Zn isotope variability in the Lapa do Santo population was related to the developmental stage of the tooth tissues sampled. We report identical results for two individuals coming from a different archeological context. Tooth enamel formed in utero and/or during the two first years of life showed higher Zn isotope ratios than enamel formed after weaning. More work is required to systematically investigate if Zn isotopes can be used as a breastfeeding tracer.

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<![CDATA[Differential expression of interferon-lambda receptor 1 splice variants determines the magnitude of the antiviral response induced by interferon-lambda 3 in human immune cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13835 Type III IFNs (IFN-λs) are antiviral cytokines that are thought to act on specific subsets of cells, especially to protect mucosal barriers. Here, we demonstrate that IFN-λ3 differentially binds multiple human immune cell subsets, indicating the specific receptor subunit, IFN-λR1, is more broadly expressed in the human immune system, compared to published mouse models. IFN-λR1 expression increased after cellular activation, and antiviral responses were inhibited by a soluble version of the receptor. The direct interaction of IFN-λs with human immune cells, and specific regulation of IFN-λR1 expression, has broad mechanistic implications in the modulation of inflammatory or anti-cancer immune responses, and future antiviral therapies.

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<![CDATA[HSPA6 augments garlic extract-induced inhibition of proliferation, migration, and invasion of bladder cancer EJ cells; Implication for cell cycle dysregulation, signaling pathway alteration, and transcription factor-associated MMP-9 regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb9fe

Although recent studies have demonstrated the anti-tumor effects of garlic extract (GE), the exact molecular mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism associated with the inhibitory action of GE against bladder cancer EJ cell responses. Treatment with GE significantly inhibited proliferation of EJ cells dose-dependently through G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest. This G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest by GE was due to the activation of ATM and CHK2, which appears to inhibit phosphorylation of Cdc25C (Ser216) and Cdc2 (Thr14/Tyr15), this in turn was accompanied by down-regulation of cyclin B1 and up-regulation of p21WAF1. Furthermore, GE treatment was also found to induce phosphorylation of MAPK (ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and JNK) and AKT. In addition, GE impeded the migration and invasion of EJ cells via inhibition of MMP-9 expression followed by decreased binding activities of AP-1, Sp-1, and NF-κB motifs. Based on microarray datasets, we selected Heat shock protein A6 (HSPA6) as the most up-regulated gene responsible for the inhibitory effects of GE. Interestingly, overexpression of HSPA6 gene resulted in an augmentation effect with GE inhibiting proliferation, migration, and invasion of EJ cells. The augmentation effect of HSPA6 was verified by enhancing the induction of G2/M-phase-mediated ATM-CHK2-Cdc25C-p21WAF1-Cdc2 cascade, phosphorylation of MAPK and AKT signaling, and suppression of transcription factor-associated MMP-9 regulation in response to GE in EJ cells. Overall, our novel results indicate that HSPA6 reinforces the GE-mediated inhibitory effects of proliferation, migration, and invasion of EJ cells and may provide a new approach for therapeutic treatment of malignancies.

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<![CDATA[Effect of internal surface structure of the north wall on Chinese solar greenhouse thermal microclimate based on computational fluid dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf5b70015-c0ce-4e08-9dc5-5525c2c91d69

Chinese solar greenhouses are unique facility agriculture buildings and widely used in northeastern China, providing a favorable requirement for crop growth. The north wall configurations play an essential role in heat storage and thermal insulation and directly affect the management of the internal environment. This research is devoted to further improve the thermal performance of the greenhouse and explore the potential of the north wall. A mathematical model was designed to investigate the concave-convex wall configurations based on computational fluid dynamics. Four passive heat-storage north walls were analyzed by using the same constituent materials, including a plane wall, a vertical wall, a horizontal wall and an alveolate wall. The numerical model was validated by experimental measurements. The temperature distributions of the north walls were examined and a comparative analysis of the heat storage-release capabilities was carried out. The results showed that the heat-storage capacity of the north wall is affected by the surface structure. Moreover, the critical factor influencing the air temperature is the sum of the heat load released by the wall and the energy increment of greenhouse air. The results suggested that the alveolate wall has preferable thermal accumulation capacity. The concave-convex wall configurations have a wider range of heat transfer performance along the thickness direction, while the plane wall has a superior thermal environment. This study provides a basic theoretical reference to rationally design the internal surface structures of the north wall.

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<![CDATA[A mass sacrifice of children and camelids at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site, Moche Valley, Peru]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897756d5eed0c4847d2a4c

Here we report the results of excavation and interdisciplinary study of the largest child and camelid sacrifice known from the New World. Stratigraphy, associated artifacts, and radiocarbon dating indicate that it was a single mass killing of more than 140 children and over 200 camelids directed by the Chimú state, c. AD 1450. Preliminary DNA analysis indicates that both boys and girls were chosen for sacrifice. Variability in forms of cranial modification (head shaping) and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen suggest that the children were a heterogeneous sample drawn from multiple regions and ethnic groups throughout the Chimú state. The Huanchaquito-Las Llamas mass sacrifice opens a new window on a previously unknown sacrificial ritual from fifteenth century northern coastal Peru. While the motivation for such a massive sacrifice is a subject for further research, there is archaeological evidence that it was associated with a climatic event (heavy rainfall and flooding) that could have impacted the economic, political and ideological stability of one of the most powerful states in the New World during the fifteenth century A.D.

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<![CDATA[Molecular features of steroid-binding antidins and their use for assaying serum progesterone]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5fd5eed0c484e5b998

Chicken avidin (Avd) and streptavidin from Streptomyces avidinii are extensively used in bionanotechnology due to their extremely tight binding to biotin (Kd ~ 10−15 M for chicken Avd). We previously reported engineered Avds known as antidins, which have micro- to nanomolar affinities for steroids, non-natural ligands of Avd. Here, we report the 2.8 Å X-ray structure of the sbAvd-2 (I117Y) antidin co-crystallized with progesterone. We describe the creation of new synthetic phage display libraries and report the experimental as well as computational binding analysis of progesterone-binding antidins. We introduce a next-generation antidin with 5 nM binding affinity for progesterone, and demonstrate the use of antidins for measuring progesterone in serum samples. Our data give insights on how to engineer and alter the binding preferences of Avds and to develop better molecular tools for modern bionanotechnological applications.

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<![CDATA[Potent anti-influenza H7 human monoclonal antibody induces separation of hemagglutinin receptor-binding head domains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e4d5eed0c48496f33e

Seasonal influenza virus infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality, but the threat from the emergence of a new pandemic influenza strain might have potentially even more devastating consequences. As such, there is intense interest in isolating and characterizing potent neutralizing antibodies that target the hemagglutinin (HA) viral surface glycoprotein. Here, we use cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to decipher the mechanism of action of a potent HA head-directed monoclonal antibody (mAb) bound to an influenza H7 HA. The epitope of the antibody is not solvent accessible in the compact, prefusion conformation that typifies all HA structures to date. Instead, the antibody binds between HA head protomers to an epitope that must be partly or transiently exposed in the prefusion conformation. The “breathing” of the HA protomers is implied by the exposure of this epitope, which is consistent with metastability of class I fusion proteins. This structure likely therefore represents an early structural intermediate in the viral fusion process. Understanding the extent of transient exposure of conserved neutralizing epitopes also may lead to new opportunities to combat influenza that have not been appreciated previously.

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<![CDATA[DeepDrug3D: Classification of ligand-binding pockets in proteins with a convolutional neural network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8ebd5eed0c48496f3ee

Comprehensive characterization of ligand-binding sites is invaluable to infer molecular functions of hypothetical proteins, trace evolutionary relationships between proteins, engineer enzymes to achieve a desired substrate specificity, and develop drugs with improved selectivity profiles. These research efforts pose significant challenges owing to the fact that similar pockets are commonly observed across different folds, leading to the high degree of promiscuity of ligand-protein interactions at the system-level. On that account, novel algorithms to accurately classify binding sites are needed. Deep learning is attracting a significant attention due to its successful applications in a wide range of disciplines. In this communication, we present DeepDrug3D, a new approach to characterize and classify binding pockets in proteins with deep learning. It employs a state-of-the-art convolutional neural network in which biomolecular structures are represented as voxels assigned interaction energy-based attributes. The current implementation of DeepDrug3D, trained to detect and classify nucleotide- and heme-binding sites, not only achieves a high accuracy of 95%, but also has the ability to generalize to unseen data as demonstrated for steroid-binding proteins and peptidase enzymes. Interestingly, the analysis of strongly discriminative regions of binding pockets reveals that this high classification accuracy arises from learning the patterns of specific molecular interactions, such as hydrogen bonds, aromatic and hydrophobic contacts. DeepDrug3D is available as an open-source program at https://github.com/pulimeng/DeepDrug3D with the accompanying TOUGH-C1 benchmarking dataset accessible from https://osf.io/enz69/.

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<![CDATA[Mapping DNA sequence to transcription factor binding energy in vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e5d5eed0c48496f361

Despite the central importance of transcriptional regulation in biology, it has proven difficult to determine the regulatory mechanisms of individual genes, let alone entire gene networks. It is particularly difficult to decipher the biophysical mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in living cells and determine the energetic properties of binding sites for transcription factors and RNA polymerase. In this work, we present a strategy for dissecting transcriptional regulatory sequences using in vivo methods (massively parallel reporter assays) to formulate quantitative models that map a transcription factor binding site’s DNA sequence to transcription factor-DNA binding energy. We use these models to predict the binding energies of transcription factor binding sites to within 1 kBT of their measured values. We further explore how such a sequence-energy mapping relates to the mechanisms of trancriptional regulation in various promoter contexts. Specifically, we show that our models can be used to design specific induction responses, analyze the effects of amino acid mutations on DNA sequence preference, and determine how regulatory context affects a transcription factor’s sequence specificity.

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<![CDATA[Metal based donepezil analogues designed to inhibit human acetylcholinesterase for Alzheimer’s disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe06d5eed0c484e5b2cd

Among neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common disorders showing slow progressive cognitive decline. Targeting acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is one of the major strategies for AD therapeutics, as cholinergic pathways in the cerebral cortex and basal forebrain are compromised. Herein, we report the design of some copper and other metal based donepezil derivatives, employing density functional theory (DFT). All designed compounds are optimized at the B3LYP/SDD level of theory. Dipole moments, electronic energie, enthalpies, Gibbs free energies, and HOMO-LUMO gaps of these modified compounds are also investigated in the subsequent analysis. The molecules were then subjected to molecular docking analysis with AChE to study the molecular interactions broadly. Ensemble based docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the best candidates were also performed. Docking and MD simulation reveal that modified drugs are more potent than unmodified donepezil, where Trp86, Tyr337, Phe330 residues play some important roles in drug-receptor interactions. According to ensemble based docking, D9 shows greater binding affinity compared to the parent in most conformations obtained from protein data bank and MD simulation. In addition, it is observed that the π- π stacking with the residues of Trp86, Tyr337, Tyr341, Tyr124 and Trp286 may be required for strong ligand binding. Moreover, ADME/T analysis suggests that modified derivatives are less toxic and have improved pharmacokinetic properties than those of the parent drug. These results further confirm the ability of metal-directed drugs to bind simultaneously to the active sites of AChE and support them as potential candidates for the future treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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<![CDATA[Analytical characterization and reference interval of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for active von Willebrand factor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9d4d5eed0c48452a285

Background

Interaction of von Willebrand factor (VWF) with platelets requires a conformational change that exposes an epitope within the VWF A1 domain, enabling platelet glycoprotein Ibα binding. Quantification of this ‘‘active” conformation of VWF has been shown to provide pathophysiological insight into conditions characterized by excessive VWF-platelet interaction.

Methods

We developed an immunosorbent assay based on a variable heavy chain antibody fragment against the VWF A1 domain as a capture antibody. Assay performance in terms of specificity (binding to active R1306W- and sheared VWF), precision, accuracy, linearity, limits of detection and stability were determined. Active VWF, VWF antigen, VWF ristocetin cofactor activity, VWF:GP1bM and VWF propeptide were measured in citrated plasma and platelet-VWF binding in whole blood from 120 healthy individuals to establish a reference interval for active VWF and to assess associations with other VWF parameters.

Results

Intra- and inter-assay CVs were between 2.4–7.2% and 4.1–9.4%, depending on the level. Mean recovery of spiked recombinant R1306W VWF was 103±3%. The assay was linear in the range of 90.1–424.5% and had a limit of quantification of 101%. The reference interval for active VWF was 91.6–154.8% of NPP. Significant, positive correlations between active VWF and all other VWF parameters were found, with the strongest correlation with VWF:GP1bM binding.

Conclusions

We developed and validated an immunosorbent assay for the accurate detection of active VWF levels in plasma. The assay fulfilled all analytical criteria in this study and a reference interval was established, allowing its use to quantify active VWF in pathological conditions for future research.

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<![CDATA[Inherent versus induced protein flexibility: Comparisons within and between apo and holo structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52c9d5eed0c4842bd003

Understanding how ligand binding influences protein flexibility is important, especially in rational drug design. Protein flexibility upon ligand binding is analyzed herein using 305 proteins with 2369 crystal structures with ligands (holo) and 1679 without (apo). Each protein has at least two apo and two holo structures for analysis. The inherent variation in structures with and without ligands is first established as a baseline. This baseline is then compared to the change in conformation in going from the apo to holo states to probe induced flexibility. The inherent backbone flexibility across the apo structures is roughly the same as the variation across holo structures. The induced backbone flexibility across apo-holo pairs is larger than that of the apo or holo states, but the increase in RMSD is less than 0.5 Å. Analysis of χ1 angles revealed a distinctly different pattern with significant influences seen for ligand binding on side-chain conformations in the binding site. Within the apo and holo states themselves, the variation of the χ1 angles is the same. However, the data combining both apo and holo states show significant displacements. Upon ligand binding, χ1 angles are frequently pushed to new orientations outside the range seen in the apo states. Influences on binding-site variation could not be easily attributed to features such as ligand size or x-ray structure resolution. By combining these findings, we find that most binding site flexibility is compatible with the common practice in flexible docking, where backbones are kept rigid and side chains are allowed some degree of flexibility.

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<![CDATA[Validation of an equation for energy expenditure that does not require the respiratory quotient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df330d5eed0c484580e72

Background

Energy expenditure (EE) calculated from respirometric indirect calorimetry is most accurate when based on oxygen consumption (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2) and estimated protein metabolism (PM). EE has a substantial dependence of ~7% on the respiratory quotient (RQ, VCO2/VO2) and a lesser dependence on PM, yet many studies have instead estimated EE from VO2 only while PM has often been ignored, thus reducing accuracy. In 1949 Weir proposed a method to accurately calculate EE without using RQ, which also adjusts for estimated PM based on dietary composition. This RQ- method utilizes the calorimeter airflow rate (FR), the change in fractional O2 concentration (ΔFO2) and the dietary protein fraction. The RQ- method has not previously been empirically validated against the standard RQ+ method using both VO2 and RQ. Our aim was to do that.

Methods

VO2 and VCO2 were measured repeatedly in 8 mice fed a high protein diet (HPD) during exposure to different temperatures (n = 168 measurements of 24h gas exchange). The HPD-adjusted RQ+ equation was: EE [kcal/time] = VO2 [L/time]×(3.853+1.081RQ) while the corresponding RQ- equation was: EE = 4.934×FR×ΔFO2. Agreement was analyzed using the ratios of the RQ- to RQ+ methods along with regression and Bland-Altman agreement analyses. We also evaluated the standard equation using the dietary food quotient (FQ) of 0.91 as a proxy for RQ (FQ+ method).

Results

Ratio analysis revealed that the mean error of the RQ- method was only 0.11 ± 0.042% while the maximum error was only 0.21%. Error using the FQ+ method was 4 -and 10-fold greater, respectively. Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated that the RQ- method very slightly overestimates EE as RQ decreases. Theoretically, this error can be eliminated completely by imposing an incurrent fractional oxygen concentration at a value only slightly greater than the atmospheric level.

Conclusions

The Weir ‘RQ-free’ method for calculating EE is a highly valid alternative to the ‘gold standard’ method that requires RQ. The RQ- approach permits reduced cost and complexity in studies focused on EE and provides a way to rescue EE measurement in studies compromised by faulty CO2 measurements. Practitioners of respirometry should consider adjusting EE calculations for estimated protein metabolism based on dietary composition.

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<![CDATA[Label-free classification of cells based on supervised machine learning of subcellular structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fec3d5eed0c48413541b

It is demonstrated that cells can be classified by pattern recognition of the subcellular structure of non-stained live cells, and the pattern recognition was performed by machine learning. Human white blood cells and five types of cancer cell lines were imaged by quantitative phase microscopy, which provides morphological information without staining quantitatively in terms of optical thickness of cells. Subcellular features were then extracted from the obtained images as training data sets for the machine learning. The built classifier successfully classified WBCs from cell lines (area under ROC curve = 0.996). This label-free, non-cytotoxic cell classification based on the subcellular structure of QPM images has the potential to serve as an automated diagnosis of single cells.

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<![CDATA[Metaproteomics reveals potential mechanisms by which dietary resistant starch supplementation attenuates chronic kidney disease progression in rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52bad5eed0c4842bcf23

Background

Resistant starch is a prebiotic metabolized by the gut bacteria. It has been shown to attenuate chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression in rats. Previous studies employed taxonomic analysis using 16S rRNA sequencing and untargeted metabolomics profiling. Here we expand these studies by metaproteomics, gaining new insight into the host-microbiome interaction.

Methods

Differences between cecum contents in CKD rats fed a diet containing resistant starch with those fed a diet containing digestible starch were examined by comparative metaproteomics analysis. Taxonomic information was obtained using unique protein sequences. Our methodology results in quantitative data covering both host and bacterial proteins.

Results

5,834 proteins were quantified, with 947 proteins originating from the host organism. Taxonomic information derived from metaproteomics data surpassed previous 16S RNA analysis, and reached species resolutions for moderately abundant taxonomic groups. In particular, the Ruminococcaceae family becomes well resolved–with butyrate producers and amylolytic species such as R. bromii clearly visible and significantly higher while fibrolytic species such as R. flavefaciens are significantly lower with resistant starch feeding. The observed changes in protein patterns are consistent with fiber-associated improvement in CKD phenotype. Several known host CKD-associated proteins and biomarkers of impaired kidney function were significantly reduced with resistant starch supplementation. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD008845.

Conclusions

Metaproteomics analysis of cecum contents of CKD rats with and without resistant starch supplementation reveals changes within gut microbiota at unprecedented resolution, providing both functional and taxonomic information. Proteins and organisms differentially abundant with RS supplementation point toward a shift from mucin degraders to butyrate producers.

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<![CDATA[Modeling cell line-specific recruitment of signaling proteins to the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a308ed5eed0c4844c04f9

Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) typically contain multiple autophosphorylation sites in their cytoplasmic domains. Once activated, these autophosphorylation sites can recruit downstream signaling proteins containing Src homology 2 (SH2) and phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domains, which recognize phosphotyrosine-containing short linear motifs (SLiMs). These domains and SLiMs have polyspecific or promiscuous binding activities. Thus, multiple signaling proteins may compete for binding to a common SLiM and vice versa. To investigate the effects of competition on RTK signaling, we used a rule-based modeling approach to develop and analyze models for ligand-induced recruitment of SH2/PTB domain-containing proteins to autophosphorylation sites in the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) receptor (IGF1R). Models were parameterized using published datasets reporting protein copy numbers and site-specific binding affinities. Simulations were facilitated by a novel application of model restructuration, to reduce redundancy in rule-derived equations. We compare predictions obtained via numerical simulation of the model to those obtained through simple prediction methods, such as through an analytical approximation, or ranking by copy number and/or KD value, and find that the simple methods are unable to recapitulate the predictions of numerical simulations. We created 45 cell line-specific models that demonstrate how early events in IGF1R signaling depend on the protein abundance profile of a cell. Simulations, facilitated by model restructuration, identified pairs of IGF1R binding partners that are recruited in anti-correlated and correlated fashions, despite no inclusion of cooperativity in our models. This work shows that the outcome of competition depends on the physicochemical parameters that characterize pairwise interactions, as well as network properties, including network connectivity and the relative abundances of competitors.

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<![CDATA[Ecologically relevant biomarkers reveal that chronic effects of nitrate depend on sex and life stage in the invasive fish Gambusia holbrooki]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d619d5eed0c484031602

Agricultural intensification and shifts in precipitation regimes due to global climate change are expected to increase nutrient concentrations in aquatic ecosystems. However, the direct effects of nutrients widely present in wastewaters, such as nitrate, are poorly studied. Here, we use multiple indicators of fish health to experimentally test the effects of three ecologically relevant nitrate concentrations (<10, 50 and 250 mg NO3-/l) on wild-collected mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), a species widely introduced for mosquito biocontrol in often eutrophic waters. Overall, biomarkers (histopathology, feeding assays, growth and caloric content and stable isotopes as indicators of energy content) did not detect overt signs of serious disease in juveniles, males or females of mosquitofish. However, males reduced food intake at the highest nitrate concentration compared to the controls and females. Similarly, juveniles reduced energy reserves without significant changes in growth or food intake. Calorimetry was positively associated with the number of perivisceral fat cells in juveniles, and the growth rate of females was negatively associated with δ15N signature in muscle. This study shows that females are more tolerant to nitrate than males and juveniles and illustrates the advantages of combing short- and long-term biomarkers in environmental risk assessment, including when testing for the adequacy of legal thresholds for pollutants.

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<![CDATA[Unique and overlapping GLI1 and GLI2 transcriptional targets in neoplastic chondrocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff07d5eed0c48413599d

Excessive Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in chondrocytes is sufficient to cause formation of enchondroma-like lesions which can progress to chondrosarcoma. To elucidate potential underlying mechanisms, we identified GLI1 and GLI2 target genes in human chondrosarcoma. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing and microarray data, in silico analyses were conducted to identify and characterize unique and overlapping GLI1 and GLI2 binding regions in neoplastic chondrocytes. After overlaying microarray data from human chondrosarcoma, 204 upregulated and 106 downregulated genes were identified as Hh-responsive Gli binding targets. After overlaying published Gli ChIP-on-chip data from mouse, 48 genes were identified as potential direct downstream targets of Hedgehog signaling with shared GLI binding regions in evolutionarily conserved DNA elements. Among these was BMP2, pointing to potential cross-talk between TGF beta signaling and Hh signaling. Our identification of potential target genes that are unique and common to GLI1 and GLI2 in neoplastic chondrocytes contributes to elucidating potential pathways through which Hh signaling impacts cartilage tumor biology.

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