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Current Biology: CB

Steffi Lehmann, Veronika Te Boekhorst, Julia Odenthal, Roberta Bianchi, Sjoerd van Helvert, Kristian Ikenberg, Olga Ilina, Szymon Stoma, Jael Xandry, Liying Jiang, Reidar Grenman, Markus Rudin, Peter Friedl
Cancer metastases arise from a multi-step process that requires metastasizing tumor cells to adapt to signaling input from varying tissue environments [1]. As an early metastatic event, cancer cell dissemination occurs through different migration programs, including multicellular, collective, and single-cell mesenchymal or amoeboid migration [2-4]. Migration modes can interconvert based on changes in cell adhesion, cytoskeletal mechanotransduction [5], and/or proteolysis [6], most likely under the control of transcriptional programs such as the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) [7, 8]...
January 11, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Alex T Keinath, Joshua B Julian, Russell A Epstein, Isabel A Muzzio
When a navigator's internal sense of direction is disrupted, she must rely on external cues to regain her bearings, a process termed spatial reorientation. Extensive research has demonstrated that the geometric shape of the environment exerts powerful control over reorientation behavior, but the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not well understood. Whereas some theories claim that geometry controls behavior through an allocentric mechanism potentially tied to the hippocampus, others postulate that disoriented navigators reach their goals by using an egocentric view-matching strategy...
January 11, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Darren P Croft, Rufus A Johnstone, Samuel Ellis, Stuart Nattrass, Daniel W Franks, Lauren J N Brent, Sonia Mazzi, Kenneth C Balcomb, John K B Ford, Michael A Cant
Why females of some species cease ovulation prior to the end of their natural lifespan is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle [1-4]. The fitness benefits of post-reproductive helping could in principle select for menopause [1, 2, 5], but the magnitude of these benefits appears insufficient to explain the timing of menopause [6-8]. Recent theory suggests that the cost of inter-generational reproductive conflict between younger and older females of the same social unit is a critical missing term in classical inclusive fitness calculations (the "reproductive conflict hypothesis" [6, 9])...
January 11, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Bomyi Lim, Michael Levine, Yuji Yamakazi
Gastrulation of the Drosophila embryo is one of the most intensively studied morphogenetic processes in animal development [1-4]. Particular efforts have focused on the formation of the ventral furrow, whereby ∼1,000 presumptive mesoderm cells exhibit coordinated apical constrictions that mediate invagination [5, 6]. Apical constriction depends on a Rho GTPase signaling pathway (T48/Fog) that is deployed by the developmental regulatory genes twist and snail [7-10]. It is thought that coordinate mesoderm constriction depends on high levels of myosin along the ventral midline, although the basis for this localization is uncertain...
January 9, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Alison R Dun, Gabriel J Lord, Rhodri S Wilson, Deirdre M Kavanagh, Katarzyna I Cialowicz, Shuzo Sugita, Seungmee Park, Lei Yang, Annya M Smyth, Andreas Papadopulos, Colin Rickman, Rory R Duncan
Eukaryotic plasma membrane organization theory has long been controversial, in part due to a dearth of suitably high-resolution techniques to probe molecular architecture in situ and integrate information from diverse data streams [1]. Notably, clustered patterning of membrane proteins is a commonly conserved feature across diverse protein families (reviewed in [2]), including the SNAREs [3], SM proteins [4, 5], ion channels [6, 7], and receptors (e.g., [8]). Much effort has gone into analyzing the behavior of secretory organelles [9-13], and understanding the relationship between the membrane and proximal organelles [4, 5, 12, 14] is an essential goal for cell biology as broad concepts or rules may be established...
January 9, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Nicholas A J Graham, Tim R McClanahan, M Aaron MacNeil, Shaun K Wilson, Joshua E Cinner, Cindy Huchery, Thomas H Holmes
The distribution of biomass among trophic levels provides a theoretical basis for understanding energy flow and the hierarchical structure of animal communities. In the absence of energy subsidies [1], bottom-heavy trophic pyramids are expected to predominate, based on energy transfer efficiency [2] and empirical evidence from multiple ecosystems [3]. However, the predicted pyramid of biomass distribution among trophic levels may be disrupted through trophic replacement by alternative organisms in the ecosystem, trophic cascades, and humans preferentially impacting specific trophic levels [4-6]...
January 9, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Jakub Prokop, Martina Pecharová, André Nel, Thomas Hörnschemeyer, Ewa Krzemińska, Wiesław Krzemiński, Michael S Engel
The appearance of wings in insects, early in their evolution [1], has been one of the more critical innovations contributing to their extraordinary diversity. Despite the conspicuousness and importance of wings, the origin of these structures has been difficult to resolve and represented one of the "abominable mysteries" in evolutionary biology [2]. More than a century of debate has boiled the matter down to two competing alternatives-one of wings representing an extension of the thoracic notum, the other stating that they are appendicular derivations from the lateral body wall...
January 9, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Sebastian Reinig, Wolfgang Driever, Aristides B Arrenberg
The vertebrate diencephalic A11 system provides the sole dopaminergic innervation of hindbrain and spinal cord and has been implicated in modulation of locomotion and sensory processes. However, the exact contributions of sensory stimuli and motor behavior to A11 dopaminergic activity remain unclear. We recorded cellular calcium activity in four anatomically distinct posterior tubercular A11-type dopaminergic subgroups and two adjacent hypothalamic dopaminergic groups in GCaMP7a-transgenic, semi-restrained zebrafish larvae...
January 6, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Nori Jacoby, Josh H McDermott
Probability distributions over external states (priors) are essential to the interpretation of sensory signals. Priors for cultural artifacts such as music and language remain largely uncharacterized, but likely constrain cultural transmission, because only those signals with high probability under the prior can be reliably reproduced and communicated. We developed a method to estimate priors for simple rhythms via iterated reproduction of random temporal sequences. Listeners were asked to reproduce random "seed" rhythms; their reproductions were fed back as the stimulus and over time became dominated by internal biases, such that the prior could be estimated by applying the procedure multiple times...
January 4, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Esther Serrano-Saiz, Meital Oren-Suissa, Emily A Bayer, Oliver Hobert
Functional and anatomical sexual dimorphisms in the brain are either the result of cells that are generated only in one sex or a manifestation of sex-specific differentiation of neurons present in both sexes. The PHC neuron pair of the nematode C. elegans differentiates in a strikingly sex-specific manner. In hermaphrodites the PHC neurons display a canonical pattern of synaptic connectivity similar to that of other sensory neurons, but in males PHC differentiates into a densely connected hub sensory neuron/interneuron, integrating a large number of male-specific synaptic inputs and conveying them to both male-specific and sex-shared circuitry...
January 2, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Maija Slaidina, Ruth Lehmann
Germ cell death occurs in many species [1-3] and has been proposed as a mechanism by which the fittest, strongest, or least damaged germ cells are selected for transmission to the next generation. However, little is known about how the choice is made between germ cell survival and death. Here, we focus on the mechanisms that regulate germ cell survival during embryonic development in Drosophila. We find that the decision to die is a germ cell-intrinsic process linked to quantitative differences in germ plasm inheritance, such that higher germ plasm inheritance correlates with higher primordial germ cell (PGC) survival probability...
January 2, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Esteban Real, Hiroki Asari, Tim Gollisch, Markus Meister
Advances in technology are opening new windows on the structural connectivity and functional dynamics of brain circuits. Quantitative frameworks are needed that integrate these data from anatomy and physiology. Here, we present a modeling approach that creates such a link. The goal is to infer the structure of a neural circuit from sparse neural recordings, using partial knowledge of its anatomy as a regularizing constraint. We recorded visual responses from the output neurons of the retina, the ganglion cells...
December 29, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Andrea H Gaede, Benjamin Goller, Jessica P M Lam, Douglas R Wylie, Douglas L Altshuler
Neurons in animal visual systems that respond to global optic flow exhibit selectivity for motion direction and/or velocity. The avian lentiformis mesencephali (LM), known in mammals as the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT), is a key nucleus for global motion processing [1-4]. In all animals tested, it has been found that the majority of LM and NOT neurons are tuned to temporo-nasal (back-to-front) motion [4-11]. Moreover, the monocular gain of the optokinetic response is higher in this direction, compared to naso-temporal (front-to-back) motion [12, 13]...
December 29, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Carlo A Beretta, Nicolas Dross, Luca Guglielmi, Peter Bankhead, Marina Soulika, Jose A Gutierrez-Triana, Alessio Paolini, Lucia Poggi, Julien Falk, Soojin Ryu, Marika Kapsimali, Ulrike Engel, Matthias Carl
Most neuronal populations form on both the left and right sides of the brain. Their efferent axons appear to grow synchronously along similar pathways on each side, although the neurons or their environment often differ between the two hemispheres [1-4]. How this coordination is controlled has received little attention. Frequently, neurons establish interhemispheric connections, which can function to integrate information between brain hemispheres (e.g., [5]). Such commissures form very early, suggesting their potential developmental role in coordinating ipsilateral axon navigation during embryonic development [4]...
December 29, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Ella Podvalny, Erin Yeagle, Pierre Mégevand, Nimrod Sarid, Michal Harel, Gal Chechik, Ashesh D Mehta, Rafael Malach
An inherent limitation of human visual system research stems from its reliance on highly controlled laboratory conditions. Visual processing in the real world differs substantially from such controlled conditions. In particular, during natural vision, we continuously sample the dynamic environment by variable eye movements that lead to inherent instability of the optical image. The neuronal mechanism by which human perception remains stable under these natural conditions remains unknown. Here, we examined a neural mechanism that may contribute to such stability, i...
December 28, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Ruth Martín, Marina Portantier, Nathalia Chica, Mari Nyquist-Andersen, Juan Mata, Sandra Lopez-Aviles
Extracellular cues regulate cell fate, and this is mainly achieved through the engagement of specific transcriptional programs. The TORC1 and TORC2 complexes mediate the integration of nutritional cues to cellular behavior, but their interplay is poorly understood. Here, we use fission yeast to investigate how phosphatase activity participates in this interplay during the switch from proliferation to sexual differentiation. We find that loss of PP2A-B55(Pab1) enhances the expression of differentiation-specific genes and leads to premature conjugation...
December 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Elsa Noël, Philippe Jarne, Sylvain Glémin, Alicia MacKenzie, Adeline Segard, Violette Sarda, Patrice David
Self-fertilization is widely believed to be an "evolutionary dead end" [1, 2], increasing the risk of extinction [3] and the accumulation of deleterious mutations in genomes [4]. Strikingly, while the failure to adapt has always been central to the dead-end hypothesis [1, 2], there are no quantitative genetic selection experiments comparing the response to positive selection in selfing versus outcrossing populations. Here we studied the response to selection on a morphological trait in laboratory populations of a hermaphroditic, self-fertile snail under either selfing or outcrossing...
December 22, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Timothy K Leonard, Kari L Hoffman
The hippocampus plays an important role in memory for events that are distinct in space and time. One of the strongest, most synchronous neural signals produced by the hippocampus is the sharp-wave ripple (SWR), observed in a variety of mammalian species during offline behaviors, such as slow-wave sleep [1-3] and quiescent waking and pauses in exploration [4-8], leading to long-standing and widespread theories of its contribution to plasticity and memory during these inactive or immobile states [9-14]. Indeed, during sleep and waking inactivity, hippocampal SWRs in rodents appear to support spatial long-term and working memory [4, 15-23], but so far, they have not been linked to memory in primates...
December 21, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Ingrid Reiten, Fazil Emre Uslu, Stephanie Fore, Robbrecht Pelgrims, Christa Ringers, Carmen Diaz Verdugo, Maximillian Hoffman, Pradeep Lal, Koichi Kawakami, Kerem Pekkan, Emre Yaksi, Nathalie Jurisch-Yaksi
Motile cilia are actively beating hair-like structures that cover the surface of multiple epithelia. The flow that ciliary beating generates is utilized for diverse functions and depends on the spatial location and biophysical properties of cilia. Here we show that the motile cilia in the nose of aquatic vertebrates are spatially organized and stably beat with an asymmetric pattern, resulting in a robust and stereotypical flow around the nose. Our results demonstrate that these flow fields attract odors to the nose pit and facilitate detection of odors by the olfactory system in stagnant environments...
December 21, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Sreeramaiah N Gangappa, Souha Berriri, S Vinod Kumar
Temperature is a key seasonal signal that shapes plant growth. Elevated ambient temperature accelerates growth and developmental transitions [1] while compromising plant defenses, leading to increased susceptibility [2, 3]. Suppression of immunity at elevated temperature is at the interface of trade-off between growth and defense [2, 4]. Climate change and the increase in average growth-season temperatures threaten biodiversity and food security [5, 6]. Despite its significance, the molecular mechanisms that link thermosensory growth and defense responses are not known...
December 20, 2016: Current Biology: CB
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