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Biology Direct

Vojtěch Žárský, Pavel Doležal
BACKGROUND: The Tim17 family of proteins plays a fundamental role in the biogenesis of mitochondria. Three Tim17 family proteins, Tim17, Tim22, and Tim23, are the central components of the widely conserved multi-subunit protein translocases, TIM23 and TIM22, which mediate protein transport across and into the inner mitochondrial membrane, respectively. In addition, several Tim17 family proteins occupy the inner and outer membranes of plastids. RESULTS: We have performed comprehensive sequence analyses on 5631 proteomes from all domains of life deposited in the Uniprot database...
October 19, 2016: Biology Direct
Andrzej Świerniak, Michał Krześlak
BACKGROUND: Evolutionary game theory (EGT) has been widely used to simulate tumour processes. In almost all studies on EGT models analysis is limited to two or three phenotypes. Our model contains four main phenotypes. Moreover, in a standard approach only heterogeneity of populations is studied, while cancer cells remain homogeneous. A multilayer approach proposed in this paper enables to study heterogeneity of single cells. METHOD: In the extended model presented in this paper we consider four strategies (phenotypes) that can arise by mutations...
October 13, 2016: Biology Direct
Anatoly Yambartsev, Michael A Perlin, Yevgeniy Kovchegov, Natalia Shulzhenko, Karina L Mine, Xiaoxi Dong, Andrey Morgun
BACKGROUND: Gene covariation networks are commonly used to study biological processes. The inference of gene covariation networks from observational data can be challenging, especially considering the large number of players involved and the small number of biological replicates available for analysis. RESULTS: We propose a new statistical method for estimating the number of erroneous edges in reconstructed networks that strongly enhances commonly used inference approaches...
October 13, 2016: Biology Direct
Thomas Stiehl, Christoph Lutz, Anna Marciniak-Czochra
BACKGROUND: Leukemias are malignant proliferative disorders of the blood forming system. Sequencing studies demonstrate that the leukemic cell population consists of multiple clones. The genetic relationship between the different clones, referred to as the clonal hierarchy, shows high interindividual variability. So far, the source of this heterogeneity and its clinical relevance remain unknown. We propose a mathematical model to study the emergence and evolution of clonal heterogeneity in acute leukemias...
October 12, 2016: Biology Direct
Suyan Tian, Howard H Chang, Chi Wang
BACKGROUND: It has been demonstrated that a pathway-based feature selection method that incorporates biological information within pathways during the process of feature selection usually outperforms a gene-based feature selection algorithm in terms of predictive accuracy and stability. Significance analysis of microarray-gene set reduction algorithm (SAMGSR), an extension to a gene set analysis method with further reduction of the selected pathways to their respective core subsets, can be regarded as a pathway-based feature selection method...
September 29, 2016: Biology Direct
Wentao Ma
: Although biology has achieved great successes in recent years, we have not got a clear idea on "what is life?" Actually, as explained here, the main reason for this situation is that there are two completely distinct aspects for "life", which are usually talked about together. Indeed, in respect to these two aspects: Darwinian evolution and self-sustaining, we must split the concept of life correspondingly, for example, by defining "life form" and "living entity", separately. For life's implementation (related to the two aspects) in nature, three mechanisms are crucial: the replication of DNA/RNA-like polymers by residue-pairing, the sequence-dependent folding of RNA/protein-like polymers engendering special functions, and the assembly of phospholipid-like amphiphiles forming vesicles...
September 26, 2016: Biology Direct
Neetu Sain, Debasisa Mohanty
BACKGROUND: PDZ domains recognize short sequence stretches usually present in C-terminal of their interaction partners. Because of the involvement of PDZ domains in many important biological processes, several attempts have been made for developing bioinformatics tools for genome-wide identification of PDZ interaction networks. Currently available tools for prediction of interaction partners of PDZ domains utilize machine learning approach. Since, they have been trained using experimental substrate specificity data for specific PDZ families, their applicability is limited to PDZ families closely related to the training set...
2016: Biology Direct
Esra Kurum, Bérénice A Benayoun, Ankit Malhotra, Joshy George, Duygu Ucar
UNLABELLED: Recent analyses of next-generation sequencing datasets have shown that cell-specific regulatory elements in stem cells are marked with distinguishable patterns of transcription factor (TF) binding and epigenetic marks. For example, we recently demonstrated that promoters of cell-specific genes are covered with expanded trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) marks (i.e., broad H3K4me3 domains). Moreover, binding of specific TFs, such as OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2, have been shown to play a critical role in maintaining the pluripotency of stem cells...
2016: Biology Direct
Eszter Tóth, Nóra Weinhardt, Petra Bencsura, Krisztina Huszár, Péter I Kulcsár, András Tálas, Elfrieda Fodor, Ervin Welker
BACKGROUND: Cpf1 nucleases have recently been repurposed for site-specific genome modification. Two members of the Cpf1 family, the AsCpf1 from Acidaminococcus sp. and the LbCpf1 from Lachnospiraceae bacterium were shown to induce higher indel frequencies than SpCas9 when examining four randomly-selected target sequences for each type of nuclease. Whether they are a real match for Cas9 nucleases, however, remains to be verified. RESULTS: Here, we used AsCpf1 and LbCpf1 to induce homology directed repair, either single strand annealing (SSA) or homologous recombination (HR), in N2a mouse neuroblastoma cells...
2016: Biology Direct
Rita Pancsa, Peter Tompa
UNLABELLED: Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins fulfill important regulatory roles in most organisms. However, the proteins of certain endosymbiont and intracellular pathogenic bacteria with extremely reduced genomes contain disproportionately small amounts of IDRs, consisting almost entirely of folded domains. As their genomes co-evolving with their hosts have been reduced in unrelated lineages, the proteomes of these bacteria represent independently evolved minimal protein sets...
2016: Biology Direct
Elysse M Craddock
BACKGROUND: Species-rich adaptive radiations arising from rare plant and animal colonizers are common on remote volcanic archipelagoes. However, they present a paradox. The severe genetic bottleneck of founder events and effects of inbreeding depression, coupled with the inherently stressful volcanic environment, would seem to predict reduced evolutionary potential and increased risk of extinction, rather than rapid adaptive divergence and speciation. Significantly, eukaryotic genomes harbor many families of transposable elements (TEs) that are mobilized by genome shock; these elements may be the primary drivers of genetic reorganization and speciation on volcanic islands...
2016: Biology Direct
Tommaso Lorenzi, Rebecca H Chisholm, Jean Clairambault
BACKGROUND: A thorough understanding of the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that drive the phenotypic evolution of neoplastic cells is a timely and key challenge for the cancer research community. In this respect, mathematical modelling can complement experimental cancer research by offering alternative means of understanding the results of in vitro and in vivo experiments, and by allowing for a quick and easy exploration of a variety of biological scenarios through in silico studies...
2016: Biology Direct
Hamidreza Badri, Kevin Leder
UNLABELLED: In this work we review past articles that have mathematically studied cancer heterogeneity and the impact of this heterogeneity on the structure of optimal therapy. We look at past works on modeling how heterogeneous tumors respond to radiotherapy, and take a particularly close look at how the optimal radiotherapy schedule is modified by the presence of heterogeneity. In addition, we review past works on the study of optimal chemotherapy when dealing with heterogeneous tumors...
2016: Biology Direct
Leili Shahriyari, Natalia L Komarova, Alexandra Jilkine
BACKGROUND: Colon and intestinal crypts serve as an important model system for adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation. We develop a spatial stochastic model to study the rate of somatic evolution in a normal crypt, focusing on the production of two-hit mutants that inactivate a tumor suppressor gene. We investigate the effect of cell division pattern along the crypt on mutant production, assuming that the division rate of each cell depends on its location. RESULTS: We find that higher probability of division at the bottom of the crypt, where the stem cells are located, leads to a higher rate of double-hit mutant production...
2016: Biology Direct
Laura Hindersin, Benjamin Werner, David Dingli, Arne Traulsen
BACKGROUND: It has been frequently argued that tissues evolved to suppress the accumulation of growth enhancing cancer inducing mutations. A prominent example is the hierarchical structure of tissues with high cell turnover, where a small number of tissue specific stem cells produces a large number of specialized progeny during multiple differentiation steps. Another well known mechanism is the spatial organization of stem cell populations and it is thought that this organization suppresses fitness enhancing mutations...
2016: Biology Direct
Irina Kareva
UNLABELLED: Existence of tumor dormancy, or cancer without disease, is supported both by autopsy studies that indicate presence of microscopic tumors in men and women who die of trauma (primary dormancy), and by long periods of latency between excision of primary tumors and disease recurrence (metastatic dormancy). Within dormant tumors, two general mechanisms underlying the dynamics are recognized, namely, the population existing at limited carrying capacity (tumor mass dormancy), and solitary cell dormancy, characterized by long periods of quiescence marked by cell cycle arrest...
2016: Biology Direct
Johann-Mattis List, Jananan Sylvestre Pathmanathan, Philippe Lopez, Eric Bapteste
BACKGROUND: For a long time biologists and linguists have been noticing surprising similarities between the evolution of life forms and languages. Most of the proposed analogies have been rejected. Some, however, have persisted, and some even turned out to be fruitful, inspiring the transfer of methods and models between biology and linguistics up to today. Most proposed analogies were based on a comparison of the research objects rather than the processes that shaped their evolution...
2016: Biology Direct
Sandrine Pinos, Pierre Pontarotti, Didier Raoult, Jean Pierre Baudoin, Isabelle Pagnier
BACKGROUND: The PVC super-phylum gathers bacteria from seven phyla (Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobiae, Chlamydiae, Lentisphaera, Poribacteria, OP3, WWE2) presenting different lifestyles, cell plans and environments. Planctomyces and several Verrucomicrobiae exhibit a complex cell plan, with an intracytoplasmic membrane inducing the compartmentalization of the cytoplasm into two regions (pirellulosome and paryphoplasm). The evolution and function of this cell plan is still subject to debate...
2016: Biology Direct
Jonathan Lombard
BACKGROUND: The N-glycosylation is an essential protein modification taking place in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in eukaryotes and the plasma membranes in archaea. It shares mechanistic similarities based on the use of polyisoprenol lipid carriers with other glycosylation pathways involved in the synthesis of bacterial cell wall components (e.g. peptidoglycan and teichoic acids). Here, a phylogenomic analysis was carried out to examine the validity of rival hypotheses suggesting alternative archaeal or bacterial origins to the eukaryotic N-glycosylation pathway...
2016: Biology Direct
Marcin Jąkalski, Kazutaka Takeshita, Mathieu Deblieck, Kanako O Koyanagi, Izabela Makałowska, Hidemi Watanabe, Wojciech Makałowski
BACKGROUND: Retroposition, one of the processes of copying the genetic material, is an important RNA-mediated mechanism leading to the emergence of new genes. Because the transcription controlling segments are usually not copied to the new location in this mechanism, the duplicated gene copies (retrocopies) become pseudogenized. However, few can still survive, e.g. by recruiting novel regulatory elements from the region of insertion. Subsequently, these duplicated genes can contribute to the formation of lineage-specific traits and phenotypic diversity...
2016: Biology Direct
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