Learning more by sampling less: subsampling effects are model specific
- Poster presentation: Twenty Second Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2013. Paris, France. 13-18 July 2013.
When studying real world complex networks, one rarely has full access to all their components. As an example, the central nervous system of the human consists of 1011 neurons which are each connected to thousands of other neurons . Of these 100 billion neurons, at most a few hundred can be recorded in parallel. Thus observations are hampered by immense subsampling. While subsampling does not affect the observables of single neuron activity, it can heavily distort observables which characterize interactions between pairs or groups of neurons . Without a precise understanding how subsampling affects these observables, inference on neural network dynamics from subsampled neural data remains limited.
We systematically studied subsampling effects in three self-organized critical (SOC) models, since this class of models can reproduce the spatio-temporal activity of spontaneous activity observed in vivo [2,3]. The models differed in their topology and in their precise interaction rules. The first model consisted of locally connected integrate- and fire units, thereby resembling cortical activity propagation mechanisms . The second model had the same interaction rules but random connectivity . The third model had local connectivity but different activity propagation rules . As a measure of network dynamics, we characterized the spatio-temporal waves of activity, called avalanches. Avalanches are characteristic for SOC models and neural tissue . Avalanche measures A (e.g. size, duration, shape) were calculated for the fully sampled and the subsampled models. To mimic subsampling in the models, we considered the activity of a subset of units only, discarding the activity of all the other units.
Under subsampling the avalanche measures A depended on three main factors: First, A depended on the interaction rules of the model and its topology, thus each model showed its own characteristic subsampling effects on A. Second, A depended on the number of sampled sites n. With small and intermediate n, the true A¬ could not be recovered in any of the models. Third, A depended on the distance d between sampled sites. With small d, A was overestimated, while with large d, A was underestimated.
Since under subsampling, the observables depended on the model's topology and interaction mechanisms, we propose that systematic subsampling can be exploited to compare models with neural data: When changing the number and the distance between electrodes in neural tissue and sampled units in a model analogously, the observables in a correct model should behave the same as in the neural tissue. Thereby, incorrect models can easily be discarded. Thus, systematic subsampling offers a promising and unique approach to model selection, even if brain activity was far from being fully sampled.
AChBP-targeted alpha-conotoxin correlates distinct binding orientations with nAChR subtype selectivity
René van Elk
Paul F. Alewood
August B. Smit
Titia K. Sixma
Richard J. Lewis
- Neuronal nAChRs are a diverse family of pentameric ion channels with wide distribution throughout cells of the nervous and immune systems. However, the role of specific subtypes in normal and pathological states remains poorly understood due to the lack of selective probes. Here, we used a binding assay based on acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP), a homolog of the nicotinic acetylcholine ligand-binding domain, to discover a novel alpha-conotoxin (alpha-TxIA) in the venom of Conus textile. alpha-TxIA bound with high affinity to AChBPs from different species and selectively targeted the alpha3beta2 nAChR subtype. A co-crystal structure of Ac-AChBP with the enhanced potency analog TxIA(A10L), revealed a 20° backbone tilt compared to other AChBP–conotoxin complexes. This reorientation was coordinated by a key salt bridge formed between Arg5 (TxIA) and Asp195 (Ac-AChBP). Mutagenesis studies, biochemical assays and electrophysiological recordings directly correlated the interactions observed in the co-crystal structure to binding affinity at AChBP and different nAChR subtypes. Together, these results establish a new pharmacophore for the design of novel subtype-selective ligands with therapeutic potential in nAChR-related diseases. Keywords: acetylcholine binding protein, conotoxin, cys-loop receptor, ion channel, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
Cbl-associated protein is tyrosine phosphorylated by c-Abl and c-Src kinases
Inga Susanne Fernow
- Background: The c-Cbl-associated protein (CAP), also known as ponsin, localizes to focal adhesions and stress fibers and is involved in signaling events. Phosphorylation has been described for the other two members of the sorbin homology family, vinexin and ArgBP2, but no data exist about the putative phosphorylation of CAP. According to previous findings, CAP binds to tyrosine kinase c-Abl. However, it is not known if CAP is a substrate of c-Abl or other tyrosine kinases or if phosphorylation regulates its localization. Results: We here show that CAP is Tyr phosphorylated by and interacts with both c-Abl and c-Src. One major phosphorylation site, Tyr360, and two minor contributors Tyr326 and Tyr632 were identified as Abl phosphorylation sites, whereas Src preferentially phosphorylates Tyr326 and Tyr360. Phosphorylation of CAP was not necessary for its localization to focal adhesions and stress fibers, but Tyr326Phe substitution alters the function of CAP during cell spreading. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of phosphorylation of CAP by any kinase. Our findings suggest that coordinated action of Src and Abl might regulate the function of CAP and reveal a functional role especially for the Src-mediated Tyr phosphorylation of CAP in cell spreading.
Schlangengift verhindert Blutgerinnsel : in den Multi-Pharmaka-Cocktails stecken raffinierte Gerinnungshemmer
Johannes Andreas Eble
- Schlangengifte enthalten einen ganzen Arzneischrank voller hochwirksamer Stoffe, die binnen kurzer Zeit zu Schock, Lähmung oder unstillbaren Blutungen führen können. Forscher interessieren sich vor allem für Verbindungen, welche die Blutgerinnung hemmen, denn sie könnten pharmakologisch interessante Leitstrukturen für neue Wirkstoffe sein, die das Risiko eines Herzinfarkts, Gehirnschlags und anderer Thrombosen mindern.
Leichenfund im Wald : bodenökologische Untersuchungen zur Eingrenzung des Todeszeitpunktes
Emergence of the mitochondrial reticulum from fission and fusion dynamics
Valerii M. Sukhorukov
Andreas S. Reichert
- Mitochondria form a dynamic tubular reticulum within eukaryotic cells. Currently, quantitative understanding of its morphological characteristics is largely absent, despite major progress in deciphering the molecular fission and fusion machineries shaping its structure. Here we address the principles of formation and the large-scale organization of the cell-wide network of mitochondria. On the basis of experimentally determined structural features we establish the tip-to-tip and tip-to-side fission and fusion events as dominant reactions in the motility of this organelle. Subsequently, we introduce a graph-based model of the chondriome able to encompass its inherent variability in a single framework. Using both mean-field deterministic and explicit stochastic mathematical methods we establish a relationship between the chondriome structural network characteristics and underlying kinetic rate parameters. The computational analysis indicates that mitochondrial networks exhibit a percolation threshold. Intrinsic morphological instability of the mitochondrial reticulum resulting from its vicinity to the percolation transition is proposed as a novel mechanism that can be utilized by cells for optimizing their functional competence via dynamic remodeling of the chondriome. The detailed size distribution of the network components predicted by the dynamic graph representation introduces a relationship between chondriome characteristics and cell function. It forms a basis for understanding the architecture of mitochondria as a cell-wide but inhomogeneous organelle. Analysis of the reticulum adaptive configuration offers a direct clarification for its impact on numerous physiological processes strongly dependent on mitochondrial dynamics and organization, such as efficiency of cellular metabolism, tissue differentiation and aging.
Dynamic Control of Selectivity in the Ubiquitination Pathway Revealed by an ASP to GLU Substitution in an Intra-Molecular Salt-Bridge Network
Sjoerd J. L. van Wijk
Adrien S. J. Melquiond
Sjoerd J. de Vries
H. Th. Marc Timmers
Alexandre M. J. J. Bonvin
- Ubiquitination relies on a subtle balance between selectivity and promiscuity achieved through specific interactions between ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) and ubiquitin ligases (E3s). Here, we report how a single aspartic to glutamic acid substitution acts as a dynamic switch to tip the selectivity balance of human E2s for interaction toward E3 RING-finger domains. By combining molecular dynamic simulations, experimental yeast-two-hybrid screen of E2-E3 (RING) interactions and mutagenesis, we reveal how the dynamics of an internal salt-bridge network at the rim of the E2-E3 interaction surface controls the balance between an “open”, binding competent, and a “closed”, binding incompetent state. The molecular dynamic simulations shed light on the fine mechanism of this molecular switch and allowed us to identify its components, namely an aspartate/glutamate pair, a lysine acting as the central switch and a remote aspartate. Perturbations of single residues in this network, both inside and outside the interaction surface, are sufficient to switch the global E2 interaction selectivity as demonstrated experimentally. Taken together, our results indicate a new mechanism to control E2-E3 interaction selectivity at an atomic level, highlighting how minimal changes in amino acid side-chain affecting the dynamics of intramolecular salt-bridges can be crucial for protein-protein interactions. These findings indicate that the widely accepted sequence-structure-function paradigm should be extended to sequence-structure-dynamics-function relationship and open new possibilities for control and fine-tuning of protein interaction selectivity.
IAPs as E3 ligases of Rac1 : shaping the move
Tripat Kaur Oberoi-Khanuja
- Inhibitors of Apoptosis Proteins (IAPs) are well-studied E3 ubiquitin ligases predominantly known for regulation of apoptosis. We uncovered that IAPs can function as a direct E3 ubiquitin ligase of RhoGTPase Rac1. cIAP1 and XIAP directly conjugate polyubiquitin chains to Lysine 147 of activated Rac1 and target it for proteasomal degradation. Consistently, loss of these IAPs by various strategies led to stabilization of Rac1 and mesenchymal mode of migration in tumor cells. IAPs also regulate Rac1 degradation upon RhoGDI1 depletion and CNF1 toxin treatment. Our observations revealed an evolutionarily conserved role of IAPs in regulating Rac1 stability shedding light on to the mechanisms behind ubiquitination–dependent inactivation of Rac1 signaling.
5-Lipoxygenase contributes to PPAR [gamma] activation in macrophages in response to apoptotic cells
Andreas von Knethen
Thorsten Jürgen Maier
- Background: One hallmark contributing to immune suppression during the late phase of sepsis is macrophage polarization to an anti-inflammatory phenotype upon contact with apoptotic cells (AC). Taking the important role of the nuclear receptor PPARγ for this phenotype switch into consideration, it remains elusive how AC activate PPARγ in macrophages. Therefore, we were interested to characterize the underlying principle.
Methods: Apoptosis was induced by treatment of Jurkat T cells for 3 hours with 0.5 μg/ml staurosporine. Necrotic cells (NC) were prepared by heating cells for 20 minutes to 65°C. PPARγ activation was followed by stably transducing RAW264.7 macrophages with a vector encoding the red fluorescent protein mRuby after PPARγ binding to 4 × PPRE sites downstream of the reporter gene sequence. This readout was established by treatment with the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (1 μM) and AC (5:1). Twenty-four hours after stimulation, mRuby expression was analysed by fluorescence microscopy. Lipid rafts of AC, NC, as well as living cells (LC) were enriched by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Fractions were analysed for lipid raft-associated marker proteins. Lipid rafts were incubated with transduced RAW264.7 macrophages as described above. 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) involvement was verified by pharmacological inhibition (MK-866, 1 μM) and overexpression.
Results: Assuming that the molecule responsible for PPARγ activation in macrophages is localized in the cell membrane of AC, most probably associated to lipid rafts, we isolated lipid rafts from AC, NC and LC. Mass spectrometric analysis of lipid rafts of AC showed the expression of 5-LO, whereas lipid rafts of LC did not. Moreover, incubating macrophages with lipid rafts of AC induced mRuby expression. In contrast, lipid rafts of NC and LC did not. To verify the involvement of 5-LO in activating PPARγ in macrophages, Jurkat T cells were incubated for 30 minutes with the 5-LO inhibitor MK-866 (1 μM) before apoptosis induction. In line with our hypothesis, these AC did not induce mRuby expression. Finally, although living Jurkat T cells overexpressing 5-LO did not activate PPARγ in macrophages, mRuby expression was significantly increased when AC were generated from 5-LO overexpressing compared with wild-type Jurkat cells.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that induction of apoptosis activates 5-LO, localizing to lipid rafts, necessary for PPARγ activation in macrophages. Therefore, it will be challenging to determine whether 5-LO activity in AC, generated from other cell types, correlates with PPARγ activation, contributing to an immune-suppressed phenotype in macrophages.
Diurnal rhythms in neurexins transcripts and inhibitory/excitatory synapse scaffold proteins in the biological clock
David J. Earnest
- The neurexin genes (NRXN1/2/3) encode two families (α and β) of highly polymorphic presynaptic proteins that are involved in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance. Recent studies indicate that neuronal activation and memory formation affect NRXN1/2/3α expression and alternative splicing at splice sites 3 and 4 (SS#3/SS#4). Neurons in the biological clock residing in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus (SCN) act as self-sustained oscillators, generating rhythms in gene expression and electrical activity, to entrain circadian bodily rhythms to the 24 hours day/night cycles. Cell autonomous oscillations in NRXN1/2/3α expression and SS#3/SS#4 exons splicing and their links to rhythms in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the circadian clock were explored. NRXN1/2/3α expression and SS#3/SS#4 splicing, levels of neurexin-2α and the synaptic scaffolding proteins PSD-95 and gephyrin (representing excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively) were studied in mRNA and protein extracts obtained from SCN of C3H/J mice at different times of the 24 hours day/night cycle. Further studies explored the circadian oscillations in these components and causality relationships in immortalized rat SCN2.2 cells. Diurnal rhythms in mNRXN1α and mNRXN2α transcription, SS#3/SS#4 exon-inclusion and PSD-95 gephyrin and neurexin-2α levels were found in the SCN in vivo. No such rhythms were found with mNRXN3α. SCN2.2 cells also exhibited autonomous circadian rhythms in rNRXN1/2 expression SS#3/SS#4 exon inclusion and PSD-95, gephyrin and neurexin-2α levels. rNRXN3α and rNRXN1/2β were not expressed. Causal relationships were demonstrated, by use of specific siRNAs, between rNRXN2α SS#3 exon included transcripts and gephyrin levels in the SCN2.2 cells. These results show for the first time dynamic, cell autonomous, diurnal rhythms in expression and splicing of NRXN1/2 and subsequent effects on the expression of neurexin-2α and postsynaptic scaffolding proteins in SCN across the 24-h cycle. NRXNs gene transcripts may have a role in coupling the circadian clock to diurnal rhythms in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance.