Post-transcriptional regulation of 5-lipoxygenase mRNA expression via alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay
Bernd Lothar Sorg
- 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) catalyzes the two initial steps in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes (LT), a group of inflammatory lipid mediators derived from arachidonic acid. Here, we investigated the regulation of 5-LO mRNA expression by alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In the present study, we report the identification of 2 truncated transcripts and 4 novel 5-LO splice variants containing premature termination codons (PTC). The characterization of one of the splice variants, 5-LOΔ3, revealed that it is a target for NMD since knockdown of the NMD factors UPF1, UPF2 and UPF3b in the human monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6 (MM6) altered the expression of 5-LOΔ3 mRNA up to 2-fold in a cell differentiation-dependent manner suggesting that cell differentiation alters the composition or function of the NMD complex. In contrast, the mature 5-LO mRNA transcript was not affected by UPF knockdown. Thus, the data suggest that the coupling of alternative splicing and NMD is involved in the regulation of 5-LO gene expression.
Competition between pentoses and glucose during uptake and catabolism in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Background: In mixed sugar fermentations with recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains able to ferment D-xylose and L-arabinose the pentose sugars are normally only utilized after depletion of D-glucose. This has been attributed to competitive inhibition of pentose uptake by D-glucose as pentose sugars are taken up into yeast cells by individual members of the yeast hexose transporter family. We wanted to investigate whether D-glucose inhibits pentose utilization only by blocking its uptake or also by interfering with its further metabolism.
Results: To distinguish between inhibitory effects of D-glucose on pentose uptake and pentose catabolism, maltose was used as an alternative carbon source in maltose-pentose co-consumption experiments. Maltose is taken up by a specific maltose transport system and hydrolyzed only intracellularly into two D-glucose molecules. Pentose consumption decreased by about 20 - 30% during the simultaneous utilization of maltose indicating that hexose catabolism can impede pentose utilization. To test whether intracellular D-glucose might impair pentose utilization, hexo-/glucokinase deletion mutants were constructed. Those mutants are known to accumulate intracellular D-glucose when incubated with maltose. However, pentose utilization was not effected in the presence of maltose. Addition of increasing concentrations of D-glucose to the hexo-/glucokinase mutants finally completely blocked D-xylose as well as L-arabinose consumption, indicating a pronounced inhibitory effect of D-glucose on pentose uptake. Nevertheless, constitutive overexpression of pentose-transporting hexose transporters like Hxt7 and Gal2 could improve pentose consumption in the presence of D-glucose.
Conclusion: Our results confirm that D-glucose impairs the simultaneous utilization of pentoses mainly due to inhibition of pentose uptake. Whereas intracellular D-glucose does not seem to have an inhibitory effect on pentose utilization, further catabolism of D-glucose can also impede pentose utilization. Nevertheless, the results suggest that co-fermentation of pentoses in the presence of D-glucose can significantly be improved by the overexpression of pentose transporters, especially if they are not inhibited by D-glucose.
Induction of selective blood-tumor barrier permeability and macromolecular transport by a biostable kinin b1 receptor agonist in a glioma rat model
- Treatment of malignant glioma with chemotherapy is limited mostly because of delivery impediment related to the blood-brain tumor barrier (BTB). B1 receptors (B1R), inducible prototypical G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) can regulate permeability of vessels including possibly that of brain tumors. Here, we determine the extent of BTB permeability induced by the natural and synthetic peptide B1R agonists, LysdesArg9BK (LDBK) and SarLys[DPhe8]desArg9BK (NG29), in syngeneic F98 glioma-implanted Fischer rats. Ten days after tumor inoculation, we detected the presence of B1R on tumor cells and associated vasculature. NG29 infusion increased brain distribution volume and uptake profiles of paramagnetic probes (Magnevist and Gadomer) at tumoral sites (T1-weighted imaging). These effects were blocked by B1R antagonist and non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, but not by B2R antagonist and non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitors. Consistent with MRI data, systemic co-administration of NG29 improved brain tumor delivery of Carboplatin chemotherapy (ICP-Mass spectrometry). We also detected elevated B1R expression in clinical samples of high-grade glioma. Our results documented a novel GPCR-signaling mechanism for promoting transient BTB disruption, involving activation of B1R and ensuing production of COX metabolites. They also underlined the potential value of synthetic biostable B1R agonists as selective BTB modulators for local delivery of different sized-therapeutics at (peri)tumoral sites.
RFID tracking of sublethal effects of two neonicotinoid insecticides on the foraging behavior of Apis mellifera
Christof W. Schneider
- The development of insecticides requires valid risk assessment procedures to avoid causing harm to beneficial insects and especially to pollinators such as the honeybee Apis mellifera. In addition to testing according to current guidelines designed to detect bee mortality, tests are needed to determine possible sublethal effects interfering with the animal's vitality and behavioral performance. Several methods have been used to detect sublethal effects of different insecticides under laboratory conditions using olfactory conditioning. Furthermore, studies have been conducted on the influence insecticides have on foraging activity and homing ability which require time-consuming visual observation. We tested an experimental design using the radiofrequency identification (RFID) method to monitor the influence of sublethal doses of insecticides on individual honeybee foragers on an automated basis. With electronic readers positioned at the hive entrance and at an artificial food source, we obtained quantifiable data on honeybee foraging behavior. This enabled us to efficiently retrieve detailed information on flight parameters. We compared several groups of bees, fed simultaneously with different dosages of a tested substance. With this experimental approach we monitored the acute effects of sublethal doses of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid (0.15–6 ng/bee) and clothianidin (0.05–2 ng/bee) under field-like circumstances. At field-relevant doses for nectar and pollen no adverse effects were observed for either substance. Both substances led to a significant reduction of foraging activity and to longer foraging flights at doses of ≥0.5 ng/bee (clothianidin) and ≥1.5 ng/bee (imidacloprid) during the first three hours after treatment. This study demonstrates that the RFID-method is an effective way to record short-term alterations in foraging activity after insecticides have been administered once, orally, to individual bees. We contribute further information on the understanding of how honeybees are affected by sublethal doses of insecticides.
Molecular networks in FGF signaling: Flotillin-1 and Cbl-associated protein compete for the binding to fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2
- Fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2α) is a signaling adaptor protein that regulates downstream signaling of many receptor tyrosine kinases. During signal transduction, FRS2 can be both tyrosine and threonine phosphorylated and forms signaling complexes with other adaptor proteins and tyrosine phosphatases. We have here identified flotillin-1 and the cbl-associated protein/ponsin (CAP) as novel interaction partners of FRS2. Flotillin-1 binds to the phosphotyrosine binding domain (PTB) of FRS2 and competes for the binding with the fibroblast growth factor receptor. Flotillin-1 knockdown results in increased Tyr phosphorylation of FRS2, in line with the inhibition of ERK activity in the absence of flotillin-1. CAP directly interacts with FRS2 by means of its sorbin homology (SoHo) domain, which has previously been shown to interact with flotillin-1. In addition, the third SH3 domain in CAP binds to FRS2. Due to the overlapping binding domains, CAP and flotillin-1 appear to compete for the binding to FRS2. Thus, our results reveal a novel signaling network containing FRS2, CAP and flotillin-1, whose successive interactions are most likely required to regulate receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, especially the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway.
De novo sequencing, assembly and analysis of the genome of the laboratory strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK113-7D, a model for modern industrial biotechnology
Jurgen F. Nijkamp
Marcel van den Broek
Stefan de Kok
Wilbert HM Heijne
Chris J. Paddon
Roeland C. van Ham
Marcel JT Reinders
Jack T. Pronk
Dick de Ridder
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK 113-7D is widely used for metabolic engineering and systems biology research in industry and academia. We sequenced, assembled, annotated and analyzed its genome. Single-nucleotide variations (SNV), insertions/deletions (indels) and differences in genome organization compared to the reference strain S. cerevisiae S288C were analyzed. In addition to a few large deletions and duplications, nearly 3000 indels were identified in the CEN.PK113-7D genome relative to S288C. These differences were overrepresented in genes whose functions are related to transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodelling. Some of these variations were caused by unstable tandem repeats, suggesting an innate evolvability of the corresponding genes. Besides a previously characterized mutation in adenylate cyclase, the CEN.PK113-7D genome sequence revealed a significant enrichment of non-synonymous mutations in genes encoding for components of the cAMP signalling pathway. Some phenotypic characteristics of the CEN.PK113-7D strains were explained by the presence of additional specific metabolic genes relative to S288C. In particular, the presence of the BIO1 and BIO6 genes correlated with a biotin prototrophy of CEN.PK113-7D. Furthermore, the copy number, chromosomal location and sequences of the MAL loci were resolved. The assembled sequence reveals that CEN.PK113-7D has a mosaic genome that combines characteristics of laboratory strains and wild-industrial strains.
Ubiquitin ligases and beyond
- First paragraph (this article has no abstract): In a review published in 2004  and that still repays reading today, Cecile Pickart traced the evolution of research on ubiquitination from its origins in the proteasomal degradation of proteins through the revelation that it has a central role in cell cycle regulation and the recognition of regulatory roles for ubiquitin in intracellular membrane transport, cell signalling, transcription, translation, and DNA repair.
Tonotopically arranged traveling waves in the miniature hearing organ of bushcrickets
Arun Palghat Udayashankar
- Place based frequency discrimination (tonotopy) is a fundamental property of the coiled mammalian cochlea. Sound vibrations mechanically conducted to the hearing organ manifest themselves into slow moving waves that travel along the length of the organ, also referred to as traveling waves. These traveling waves form the basis of the tonotopic frequency representation in the inner ear of mammals. However, so far, due to the secure housing of the inner ear, these waves only could be measured partially over small accessible regions of the inner ear in a living animal. Here, we demonstrate the existence of tonotopically ordered traveling waves covering most of the length of a miniature hearing organ in the leg of bushcrickets in vivo using laser Doppler vibrometery. The organ is only 1 mm long and its geometry allowed us to investigate almost the entire length with a wide range of stimuli (6 to 60 kHz). The tonotopic location of the traveling wave peak was exponentially related to stimulus frequency. The traveling wave propagated along the hearing organ from the distal (high frequency) to the proximal (low frequency) part of the leg, which is opposite to the propagation direction of incoming sound waves. In addition, we observed a non-linear compression of the velocity response to varying sound pressure levels. The waves are based on the delicate micromechanics of cellular structures different to those of mammals. Hence place based frequency discrimination by traveling waves is a physical phenomenon that presumably evolved in mammals and bushcrickets independently.
Alpine crossroads or origin of genetic diversity? : Comparative phylogeography of two sympatric microgastropod species
Alexander M. Weigand
- The Alpine Region, constituting the Alps and the Dinaric Alps, has played a major role in the formation of current patterns of biodiversity either as a contact zone of postglacial expanding lineages or as the origin of genetic diversity. In our study, we tested these hypotheses for two widespread, sympatric microgastropod taxa - Carychium minimum O.F. Müller, 1774 and Carychium tridentatum (Risso, 1826) (Gastropoda, Eupulmonata, Carychiidae) - by using COI sequence data and species potential distribution models analyzed in a statistical phylogeographical framework. Additionally, we examined disjunct transatlantic populations of those taxa from the Azores and North America. In general, both Carychium taxa demonstrate a genetic structure composed of several differentiated haplotype lineages most likely resulting from allopatric diversification in isolated refugial areas during the Pleistocene glacial periods. However, the genetic structure of Carychium minimum is more pronounced, which can be attributed to ecological constraints relating to habitat proximity to permanent bodies of water. For most of the Carychium lineages, the broader Alpine Region was identified as the likely origin of genetic diversity. Several lineages are endemic to the broader Alpine Region whereas a single lineage per species underwent a postglacial expansion to (re)colonize previously unsuitable habitats, e.g. in Northern Europe. The source populations of those expanding lineages can be traced back to the Eastern and Western Alps. Consequently, we identify the Alpine Region as a significant 'hot-spot' for the formation of genetic diversity within European Carychium lineages. Passive dispersal via anthropogenic means best explains the presence of transatlantic European Carychium populations on the Azores and in North America. We conclude that passive (anthropogenic) transport could mislead the interpretation of observed phylogeographical patterns in general.
Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling - two sides of the same coin?
- Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.