ResearchPad - intracellular-membranes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[An electrodiffusive, ion conserving Pinsky-Rinzel model with homeostatic mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7780 Neurons generate their electrical signals by letting ions pass through their membranes. Despite this fact, most models of neurons apply the simplifying assumption that ion concentrations remain effectively constant during neural activity. This assumption is often quite good, as neurons contain a set of homeostatic mechanisms that make sure that ion concentrations vary quite little under normal circumstances. However, under some conditions, these mechanisms can fail, and ion concentrations can vary quite dramatically. Standard models are thus not able to simulate such conditions. Here, we present what to our knowledge is the first multicompartmental neuron model that accounts for ion concentration variations in a way that ensures complete and consistent ion concentration and charge conservation. In this work, we use the model to explore under which activity conditions the ion concentration variations become important for predicting the neurodynamics. We expect the model to be of great value for the field of neuroscience, as it can be used to simulate a range of pathological conditions, such as spreading depression or epilepsy, which are associated with large changes in extracellular ion concentrations.

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<![CDATA[Cobalt ion interaction with TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel: Inhibition and potentiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/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[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[Compartment models for the electrical stimulation of retinal bipolar cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215132d5eed0c4843f91fe

Bipolar cells of the retina are among the smallest neurons of the nervous system. For this reason, compared to other neurons, their delay in signaling is minimal. Additionally, the small bipolar cell surface combined with the low membrane conductance causes very little attenuation in the signal from synaptic input to the terminal. The existence of spiking bipolar cells was proven over the last two decades, but until now no complete model including all important ion channel types was published. The present study amends this and analyzes the impact of the number of model compartments on simulation accuracy. Characteristic features like membrane voltages and spike generation were tested and compared for one-, two-, four- and 117-compartment models of a macaque bipolar cell. Although results were independent of the compartment number for low membrane conductances (passive membranes), nonlinear regimes such as spiking required at least a separate axon compartment. At least a four compartment model containing the functionally different segments dendrite, soma, axon and terminal was needed for understanding signaling in spiking bipolar cells. Whereas for intracellular current application models with small numbers of compartments showed quantitatively correct results in many cases, the cell response to extracellular stimulation is sensitive to spatial variation of the electric field and accurate modeling therefore demands for a large number of short compartments even for passive membranes.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive feature detection from differential processing in parallel retinal pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfdb370d5eed0c4845c97bf

To transmit information efficiently in a changing environment, the retina adapts to visual contrast by adjusting its gain, latency and mean response. Additionally, the temporal frequency selectivity, or bandwidth changes to encode the absolute intensity when the stimulus environment is noisy, and intensity differences when noise is low. We show that the On pathway of On-Off retinal amacrine and ganglion cells is required to change temporal bandwidth but not other adaptive properties. This remarkably specific adaptive mechanism arises from differential effects of contrast on the On and Off pathways. We analyzed a biophysical model fit only to a cell’s membrane potential, and verified pharmacologically that it accurately revealed the two pathways. We conclude that changes in bandwidth arise mostly from differences in synaptic threshold in the two pathways, rather than synaptic release dynamics as has previously been proposed to underlie contrast adaptation. Different efficient codes are selected by different thresholds in two independently adapting neural pathways.

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<![CDATA[Modification of Pulsed Electric Field Conditions Results in Distinct Activation Profiles of Platelet-Rich Plasma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db10ab0ee8fa60bcbe08

Background

Activated autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) used in therapeutic wound healing applications is poorly characterized and standardized. Using pulsed electric fields (PEF) to activate platelets may reduce variability and eliminate complications associated with the use of bovine thrombin. We previously reported that exposing PRP to sub-microsecond duration, high electric field (SMHEF) pulses generates a greater number of platelet-derived microparticles, increased expression of prothrombotic platelet surfaces, and differential release of growth factors compared to thrombin. Moreover, the platelet releasate produced by SMHEF pulses induced greater cell proliferation than plasma.

Aims

To determine whether sub-microsecond duration, low electric field (SMLEF) bipolar pulses results in differential activation of PRP compared to SMHEF, with respect to profiles of activation markers, growth factor release, and cell proliferation capacity.

Methods

PRP activation by SMLEF bipolar pulses was compared to SMHEF pulses and bovine thrombin. PRP was prepared using the Harvest SmartPreP2 System from acid citrate dextrose anticoagulated healthy donor blood. PEF activation by either SMHEF or SMLEF pulses was performed using a standard electroporation cuvette preloaded with CaCl2 and a prototype instrument designed to take into account the electrical properties of PRP. Flow cytometry was used to assess platelet surface P-selectin expression, and annexin V binding. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), endothelial growth factor (EGF) and platelet factor 4 (PF4), and were measured by ELISA. The ability of supernatants to stimulate proliferation of human epithelial cells in culture was also evaluated. Controls included vehicle-treated, unactivated PRP and PRP with 10 mM CaCl2 activated with 1 U/mL bovine thrombin.

Results

PRP activated with SMLEF bipolar pulses or thrombin had similar light scatter profiles, consistent with the presence of platelet-derived microparticles, platelets, and platelet aggregates whereas SMHEF pulses primarily resulted in platelet-derived microparticles. Microparticles and platelets in PRP activated with SMLEF bipolar pulses had significantly lower annexin V-positivity than those following SMHEF activation. In contrast, the % P-selectin positivity and surface P-selectin expression (MFI) for platelets and microparticles in SMLEF bipolar pulse activated PRP was significantly higher than that in SMHEF-activated PRP, but not significantly different from that produced by thrombin activation. Higher levels of EGF were observed following either SMLEF bipolar pulses or SMHEF pulses of PRP than after bovine thrombin activation while VEGF, PDGF, and PF4 levels were similar with all three activating conditions. Cell proliferation was significantly increased by releasates of both SMLEF bipolar pulse and SMHEF pulse activated PRP compared to plasma alone.

Conclusions

PEF activation of PRP at bipolar low vs. monopolar high field strength results in differential platelet-derived microparticle production and activation of platelet surface procoagulant markers while inducing similar release of growth factors and similar capacity to induce cell proliferation. Stimulation of PRP with SMLEF bipolar pulses is gentler than SMHEF pulses, resulting in less platelet microparticle generation but with overall activation levels similar to that obtained with thrombin. These results suggest that PEF provides the means to alter, in a controlled fashion, PRP properties thereby enabling evaluation of their effects on wound healing and clinical outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Unidirectional Flux Balance of Monovalent Ions in Cells with Na/Na and Li/Na Exchange: Experimental and Computational Studies on Lymphoid U937 Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db00ab0ee8fa60bc671f

Monovalent ion traffic across the cell membrane occurs via various pathways. Evaluation of individual fluxes in whole cell is hampered by their strong interdependence. This difficulty can be overcome by computational analysis of the whole cell flux balance. However, the previous computational studies disregarded ion movement of the self-exchange type. We have taken this exchange into account. The developed software allows determination of unidirectional fluxes of all monovalent ions via the major pathways both under the balanced state and during transient processes. We show how the problem of finding the rate coefficients can be solved by measurement of monovalent ion concentrations and some of the fluxes. Interdependence of fluxes due to the mandatory conditions of electroneutrality and osmotic balance and due to specific effects can be discriminated, enabling one to identify specific changes in ion transfer machinery under varied conditions. To test the effectiveness of the developed approach we made use of the fact that Li/Na exchange is known to be an analogue of the coupled Na/Na exchange. Thus, we compared the predicted and experimental data obtained on U937 cells under varied Li+ concentrations and following inhibition of the sodium pump with ouabain. We found that the coupled Na/Na exchange in U937 cells comprises a significant portion of the entire Na+ turnover. The data showed that the loading of the sodium pump by Li/Na exchange involved in the secondary active Li+ transport at 1–10 mM external Li+ is small. This result may be extrapolated to similar Li+ and Na+ flux relationships in erythrocytes and other cells in patients treated with Li+ in therapeutic doses. The developed computational approach is applicable for studying various cells and can be useful in education for demonstrating the effects of individual transporters and channels on ion gradients, cell water content and membrane potential.

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<![CDATA[Single-Cell Gene Expression Analysis of Cholinergic Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabdab0ee8fa60baf43b

The cholinoceptive system in the hypothalamus, in particular in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), plays a role in regulating food intake. Neurons in the ARC contain multiple neuropeptides, amines, and neurotransmitters. To study molecular and neurochemical heterogeneity of ARC neurons, we combine single-cell qRT-PCR and single-cell whole transcriptome amplification methods to analyze expression patterns of our hand-picked 60 genes in individual neurons in the ARC. Immunohistochemical and single-cell qRT-PCR analyses show choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-expressing neurons in the ARC. Gene expression patterns are remarkably distinct in each individual cholinergic neuron. Two-thirds of cholinergic neurons express tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) mRNA. A large subset of these Th-positive cholinergic neurons is GABAergic as they express the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamate decarboxylase and vesicular GABA transporter transcripts. Some cholinergic neurons also express the vesicular glutamate transporter transcript gene. POMC and POMC-processing enzyme transcripts are found in a subpopulation of cholinergic neurons. Despite this heterogeneity, gene expression patterns in individual cholinergic cells appear to be highly regulated in a cell-specific manner. In fact, membrane receptor transcripts are clustered with their respective intracellular signaling and downstream targets. This novel population of cholinergic neurons may be part of the neural circuitries that detect homeostatic need for food and control the drive to eat.

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<![CDATA[NMR quantification of diffusional exchange in cell suspensions with relaxation rate differences between intra and extracellular compartments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6f7

Water transport across cell membranes can be measured non-invasively with diffusion NMR. We present a method to quantify the intracellular lifetime of water in cell suspensions with short transverse relaxation times, T2, and also circumvent the confounding effect of different T2 values in the intra- and extracellular compartments. Filter exchange spectroscopy (FEXSY) is specifically sensitive to exchange between compartments with different apparent diffusivities. Our investigation shows that FEXSY could yield significantly biased results if differences in T2 are not accounted for. To mitigate this problem, we propose combining FEXSY with diffusion-relaxation correlation experiment, which can quantify differences in T2 values in compartments with different diffusivities. Our analysis uses a joint constrained fitting of the two datasets and considers the effects of diffusion, relaxation and exchange in both experiments. The method is demonstrated on yeast cells with and without human aquaporins.

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<![CDATA[Cholesterol Corrects Altered Conformation of MHC-II Protein in Leishmania donovani Infected Macrophages: Implication in Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce7a4

Background

Previously we reported that Kala-azar patients show progressive decrease in serum cholesterol as a function of splenic parasite burden. Splenic macrophages (MΦ) of Leishmania donovani (LD) infected mice show decrease in membrane cholesterol, while LD infected macrophages (I-MΦ) show defective T cell stimulating ability that could be corrected by liposomal delivery of cholesterol. T helper cells recognize peptide antigen in the context of class II MHC molecule. It is known that the conformation of a large number of membrane proteins is dependent on membrane cholesterol. In this investigation we tried to understand the influence of decreased membrane cholesterol in I-MΦ on the conformation of MHC-II protein and peptide-MHC-II stability, and its bearing on the antigen specific T-cell activation.

Methodology/Principal Findings

MΦ of CBA/j mice were infected with Leishmania donovani (I-MΦ). Two different anti-Aκ mAbs were used to monitor the status of MHC-II protein under parasitized condition. One of them (11.5–2) was conformation specific, whereas the other one (10.2.16) was not. Under parasitized condition, the binding of 11.5–2 decreased significantly with respect to the normal counterpart, whereas that of 10.2.16 remained unaltered. The binding of 11.5–2 was restored to normal upon liposomal delivery of cholesterol in I-MΦ. By molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies we found that there was considerable conformational fluctuation in the transmembrane domain of the MHC-II protein in the presence of membrane cholesterol than in its absence, which possibly influenced the distal peptide binding groove. This was evident from the faster dissociation of the cognate peptide from peptide-MHC complex under parasitized condition, which could be corrected by liposomal delivery of cholesterol in I-MΦ.

Conclusion

The decrease in membrane cholesterol in I-MΦ may lead to altered conformation of MHC II, and this may contribute to a faster dissociation of the peptide. Furthermore, liposomal delivery of cholesterol in I-MΦ restored its normal antigen presenting function. This observation brings strength to our previous observation on host directed therapeutic application of liposomal cholesterol in experimental visceral leishmaniasis.

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<![CDATA[A Novel Physiological Glycosaminoglycan-Deficient Splice Variant of Neuropilin-1 Is Anti-Tumorigenic In Vitro and In Vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da32ab0ee8fa60b8509e

Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is a transmembrane protein acting as a co-receptor for several growth factors and interacting with other proteins such as integrins and plexins/semaphorins. It is involved in axonal development, angiogenesis and cancer progression. Its primary mRNA is subjected to alternative splicing mechanisms generating different isoforms, some of which lack the transmembrane domain and display antagonist properties to NRP1 full size (FS). NRP1 is further post-translationally modified by the addition of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) side chains through an O-glycosylation site at serine612. Here, we characterized a novel splice variant which has never been investigated, NRP1-Δ7, differing from the NRP1-FS by a deletion of 7 amino acids occurring two residues downstream of the O-glycosylation site. This short sequence contains two aspartic residues critical for efficient glycosylation. As expected, the high molecular weight products appearing as a smear in SDS-PAGE and reflecting the presence of GAG in NRP1-FS were undetectable in the NRP1-Δ7 protein. NRP1-Δ7 mRNA was found expressed at an appreciable level, between 10 and 30% of the total NRP1, by various cells lines and tissues from human and murine origin. To investigate the biological properties of this isoform, we generated prostatic (PC3) and breast (MDA-MB-231) cancer cells able to express recombinant NRP1-FS or NRP1-Δ7 in a doxycycline-inducible manner. Cells with increased expression of NRP1-Δ7 were characterized in vitro by a significant reduction of proliferation, migration and anchorage-independent growth, while NRP1-FS had the expected opposite “pro-tumoral” effects. Upon VEGF-A165 treatment, a lower internalization rate was observed for NRP1-Δ7 than for NRP1-FS. Finally, we showed that NRP1-Δ7 inhibited growth of prostatic tumors and their vascularization in vivo. This report identifies NRP1-Δ7 as a splice variant displaying anti-tumorigenic properties in vitro and in vivo, emphasizing the need to consider this isoform in future studies.

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<![CDATA[Achieving global perfect homeostasis through transporter regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf2e1

Nutrient homeostasis—the maintenance of relatively constant internal nutrient concentrations in fluctuating external environments—is essential to the survival of most organisms. Transcriptional regulation of plasma membrane transporters by internal nutrient concentrations is typically assumed to be the main mechanism by which homeostasis is achieved. While this mechanism is homeostatic we show that it does not achieve global perfect homeostasis—a condition where internal nutrient concentrations are completely independent of external nutrient concentrations for all external nutrient concentrations. We show that the criterion for global perfect homeostasis is that transporter levels must be inversely proportional to net nutrient flux into the cell and that downregulation of active transporters (activity-dependent regulation) is a simple and biologically plausible mechanism that meets this criterion. Activity-dependent transporter regulation creates a trade-off between robustness and efficiency, i.e., the system's ability to withstand perturbation in external nutrients and the transporter production rate needed to maintain homeostasis. Additionally, we show that a system that utilizes both activity-dependent transporter downregulation and regulation of transporter synthesis by internal nutrient levels can create a system that mitigates the shortcomings of each of the individual mechanisms. This analysis highlights the utility of activity-dependent regulation in achieving homeostasis and calls for a re-examination of the mechanisms of regulation of other homeostatic systems.

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<![CDATA[RNA-Seq analysis of salinity stress–responsive transcriptome in the liver of spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc679

Salinity is one of the most prominent abiotic factors, which greatly influence reproduction, development, growth, physiological and metabolic activities of fishes. Spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus), as a euryhaline marine teleost, has extraordinary ability to deal with a wide range of salinity changes. However, this species is devoid of genomic resources, and no study has been conducted at the transcriptomic level to determine genes responsible for salinity regulation, which impedes the understanding of the fundamental mechanism conferring tolerance to salinity fluctuations. Liver, as the major metabolic organ, is the key source supplying energy for iono- and osmoregulation in fish, however, little attention has been paid to its salinity-related functions but which should not be ignored. In this study, we perform RNA-Seq analysis to identify genes involved in salinity adaptation and osmoregulation in liver of spotted sea bass, generating from the fishes exposed to low and high salinity water (5 vs 30ppt). After de novo assembly, annotation and differential gene expression analysis, a total of 455 genes were differentially expressed, including 184 up-regulated and 271 down-regulated transcripts in low salinity-acclimated fish group compared with that in high salinity-acclimated group. A number of genes with a potential role in salinity adaptation for spotted sea bass were classified into five functional categories based on the gene ontology (GO) and enrichment analysis, which include genes involved in metabolites and ion transporters, energy metabolism, signal transduction, immune response and structure reorganization. The candidate genes identified in L. maculates liver provide valuable information to explore new pathways related to fish salinity and osmotic regulation. Besides, the transcriptomic sequencing data supplies significant resources for identification of novel genes and further studying biological questions in spotted sea bass.

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<![CDATA[Optochemokine Tandem for Light-Control of Intracellular Ca2+]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e8ab0ee8fa60b6c0cb

An optochemokine tandem was developed to control the release of calcium from endosomes into the cytosol by light and to analyze the internalization kinetics of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) by electrophysiology. A previously constructed rhodopsin tandem was re-engineered to combine the light-gated Ca2+-permeable cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2(L132C), CatCh, with the chemokine receptor CXCR4 in a functional tandem protein tCXCR4/CatCh. The GPCR was used as a shuttle protein to displace CatCh from the plasma membrane into intracellular areas. As shown by patch-clamp measurements and confocal laser scanning microscopy, heterologously expressed tCXCR4/CatCh was internalized via the endocytic SDF1/CXCR4 signaling pathway. The kinetics of internalization could be followed electrophysiologically via the amplitude of the CatCh signal. The light-induced release of Ca2+ by tandem endosomes into the cytosol via CatCh was visualized using the Ca2+-sensitive dyes rhod2 and rhod2-AM showing an increase of intracellular Ca2+ in response to light.

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<![CDATA[Osteopontin activates the diabetes-associated potassium channel TALK-1 in pancreatic β-cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc702

Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) relies on β-cell Ca2+ influx, which is modulated by the two-pore-domain K+ (K2P) channel, TALK-1. A gain-of-function polymorphism in KCNK16, the gene encoding TALK-1, increases risk for developing type-2 diabetes. While TALK-1 serves an important role in modulating GSIS, the regulatory mechanism(s) that control β-cell TALK-1 channels are unknown. Therefore, we employed a membrane-specific yeast two-hybrid (MYTH) assay to identify TALK-1-interacting proteins in human islets, which will assist in determining signaling modalities that modulate TALK-1 function. Twenty-one proteins from a human islet cDNA library interacted with TALK-1. Some of these interactions increased TALK-1 activity, including intracellular osteopontin (iOPN). Intracellular OPN is highly expressed in β-cells and is upregulated under pre-diabetic conditions to help maintain normal β-cell function; however, the functional role of iOPN in β-cells is poorly understood. We found that iOPN colocalized with TALK-1 in pancreatic sections and coimmunoprecipitated with human islet TALK-1 channels. As human β-cells express two K+ channel-forming variants of TALK-1, regulation of these TALK-1 variants by iOPN was assessed. At physiological voltages iOPN activated TALK-1 transcript variant 3 channels but not TALK-1 transcript variant 2 channels. Activation of TALK-1 channels by iOPN also hyperpolarized resting membrane potential (Vm) in HEK293 cells and in primary mouse β-cells. Intracellular OPN was also knocked down in β-cells to test its effect on β-cell TALK-1 channel activity. Reducing β-cell iOPN significantly decreased TALK-1 K+ currents and increased glucose-stimulated Ca2+ influx. Importantly, iOPN did not affect the function of other K2P channels or alter Ca2+ influx into TALK-1 deficient β-cells. These results reveal the first protein interactions with the TALK-1 channel and found that an interaction with iOPN increased β-cell TALK-1 K+ currents. The TALK-1/iOPN complex caused Vm hyperpolarization and reduced β-cell glucose-stimulated Ca2+ influx, which is predicted to inhibit GSIS.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced Sensitivity to Rapid Input Fluctuations by Nonlinear Threshold Dynamics in Neocortical Pyramidal Neurons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db26ab0ee8fa60bd05c1

The way in which single neurons transform input into output spike trains has fundamental consequences for network coding. Theories and modeling studies based on standard Integrate-and-Fire models implicitly assume that, in response to increasingly strong inputs, neurons modify their coding strategy by progressively reducing their selective sensitivity to rapid input fluctuations. Combining mathematical modeling with in vitro experiments, we demonstrate that, in L5 pyramidal neurons, the firing threshold dynamics adaptively adjust the effective timescale of somatic integration in order to preserve sensitivity to rapid signals over a broad range of input statistics. For that, a new Generalized Integrate-and-Fire model featuring nonlinear firing threshold dynamics and conductance-based adaptation is introduced that outperforms state-of-the-art neuron models in predicting the spiking activity of neurons responding to a variety of in vivo-like fluctuating currents. Our model allows for efficient parameter extraction and can be analytically mapped to a Generalized Linear Model in which both the input filter—describing somatic integration—and the spike-history filter—accounting for spike-frequency adaptation—dynamically adapt to the input statistics, as experimentally observed. Overall, our results provide new insights on the computational role of different biophysical processes known to underlie adaptive coding in single neurons and support previous theoretical findings indicating that the nonlinear dynamics of the firing threshold due to Na+-channel inactivation regulate the sensitivity to rapid input fluctuations.

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<![CDATA[Variations in the interaction of human defensins with Escherichia coli: Possible implications in bacterial killing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc8d5

Human α and β-defensins are cationic antimicrobial peptides characterized by three disulfide bonds with a triple stranded β-sheet motif. It is presumed that interaction with the bacterial cell surface and membrane permeabilization by defensins is an important step in the killing process. In this study, we have compared interactions of three human α-defensins HNP3, HNP4, HD5 and human β-defensins HBD1-4 that are active against Escherichia coli, with its cell surface and inner membrane as well as negatively charged model membranes. We have also included the inactive α-defensin HD6 in the study. Among the α-defensins, HNP4, HD5 and HD6 were more effective in increasing the zeta potential as compared to HNP3. Among the β-defensins, HBD1 was the least effective in increasing the zeta potential. The zeta potential modulation data indicate variations in the surface charge neutralizing ability of α- and β-defensins. Comparison of E. coli inner membrane and model membrane permeabilizing abilities indicated that HD5, HD6 and HBD1 do not permeabilize membranes. Although HBD4 does not permeabilize model membranes, considerable damage to the inner membrane of E. coli is observed. Our data indicate that mammalian defensins do not kill E. coli by a simple mechanism involving membrane permeabilization though their antibacterial potencies are very similar.

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<![CDATA[The Human Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter (hSGLT1) Is a Disulfide-Bridged Homodimer with a Re-Entrant C-Terminal Loop]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1fab0ee8fa60bcedeb

Na-coupled cotransporters are proteins that use the trans-membrane electrochemical gradient of Na to activate the transport of a second solute. The sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1) constitutes a well-studied prototype of this transport mechanism but essential molecular characteristics, namely its quaternary structure and the exact arrangement of the C-terminal transmembrane segments, are still debated. After expression in Xenopus oocytes, human SGLT1 molecules (hSGLT1) were labelled on an externally accessible cysteine residue with a thiol-reactive fluorophore (tetramethylrhodamine-C5-maleimide, TMR). Addition of dipicrylamine (DPA, a negatively-charged amphiphatic fluorescence “quencher”) to the fluorescently-labelled oocytes is used to quench the fluorescence originating from hSGLT1 in a voltage-dependent manner. Using this arrangement with a cysteine residue introduced at position 624 in the loop between transmembrane segments 12 and 13, the voltage-dependent fluorescence signal clearly indicated that this portion of the 12–13 loop is located on the external side of the membrane. As the 12–13 loop begins on the intracellular side of the membrane, this suggests that the 12–13 loop is re-entrant. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), we observed that different hSGLT1 molecules are within molecular distances from each other suggesting a multimeric complex arrangement. In agreement with this conclusion, a western blot analysis showed that hSGLT1 migrates as either a monomer or a dimer in reducing and non-reducing conditions, respectively. A systematic mutational study of endogenous cysteine residues in hSGLT1 showed that a disulfide bridge is formed between the C355 residues of two neighbouring hSGLT1 molecules. It is concluded that, 1) hSGLT1 is expressed as a disulfide bridged homodimer via C355 and that 2) a portion of the intracellular 12–13 loop is re-entrant and readily accessible from the extracellular milieu.

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<![CDATA[A Proteomics Approach to Identify New Putative Cardiac Intercalated Disk Proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeaab0ee8fa60bbee0c

Aims

Synchronous beating of the heart is dependent on the efficient functioning of the cardiac intercalated disk (ID). The ID is composed of a complex protein network enabling electrical continuity and chemical communication between individual cardiomyocytes. Recently, several different studies have shed light on increasingly prevalent cardiac diseases involving the ID. Insufficient knowledge of its composition makes it difficult to study these disease mechanisms in more detail and therefore here we aim expand the ID proteome. Here, using a combination of general membrane enrichment, in-depth quantitative proteomics and an intracellular location driven bioinformatics approach, we aim to discover new putative ID proteins in rat ventricular tissue.

Methods and Results

General membrane isolation, enriched amongst others also with ID proteins as based on presence of the established markers connexin-43 and n-cadherin, was performed using centrifugation. By mass spectrometry, we quantitatively evaluated the level of 3455 proteins in the enriched membrane fraction (EMF) and its counterpart, the soluble cytoplasmic fraction. These data were stringently filtered to generate a final set of 97 enriched, putative ID proteins. These included Cx43 and n-cadherin, but also many interesting novel candidates. We selected 4 candidates (Flotillin-2 (FLOT2), Nexilin (NEXN), Popeye-domain-containg-protein 2 (POPDC2) and thioredoxin-related-transmembrane-protein 2 (TMX2)) and confirmed their co-localization with n-cadherin in the ID of human and rat heart cryo-sections, and isolated dog cardiomyocytes.

Conclusion

The presented proteomics dataset of putative new ID proteins is a valuable resource for future research into this important molecular intersection of the heart.

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<![CDATA[Spatial separation of two different pathways accounting for the generation of calcium signals in astrocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd096

Astrocytes integrate and process synaptic information and exhibit calcium (Ca2+) signals in response to incoming information from neighboring synapses. The generation of Ca2+ signals is mostly attributed to Ca2+ release from internal Ca2+ stores evoked by an elevated metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activity. Different experimental results associated the generation of Ca2+ signals to the activity of the glutamate transporter (GluT). The GluT itself does not influence the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, but it indirectly activates Ca2+ entry over the membrane. A closer look into Ca2+ signaling in different astrocytic compartments revealed a spatial separation of those two pathways. Ca2+ signals in the soma are mainly generated by Ca2+ release from internal Ca2+ stores (mGluR-dependent pathway). In astrocytic compartments close to the synapse most Ca2+ signals are evoked by Ca2+ entry over the plasma membrane (GluT-dependent pathway). This assumption is supported by the finding, that the volume ratio between the internal Ca2+ store and the intracellular space decreases from the soma towards the synapse. We extended a model for mGluR-dependent Ca2+ signals in astrocytes with the GluT-dependent pathway. Additionally, we included the volume ratio between the internal Ca2+ store and the intracellular compartment into the model in order to analyze Ca2+ signals either in the soma or close to the synapse. Our model results confirm the spatial separation of the mGluR- and GluT-dependent pathways along the astrocytic process. The model allows to study the binary Ca2+ response during a block of either of both pathways. Moreover, the model contributes to a better understanding of the impact of channel densities on the interaction of both pathways and on the Ca2+ signal.

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