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Open Biology

David Sillam-Dussès, Robert Hanus, Michael Poulsen, Virginie Roy, Maryline Favier, Mireille Vasseur-Cognet
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Open Biology
Jennifer T Patel, Hannah R Belsham, Alexandra J Rathbone, Bill Wickstead, Christopher Gell, Claire T Friel
Kinesins that influence the dynamics of microtubule growth and shrinkage require the ability to distinguish between the microtubule end and the microtubule lattice. The microtubule depolymerizing kinesin MCAK has been shown to specifically recognize the microtubule end. This ability is key to the action of MCAK in regulating microtubule dynamics. We show that the α4-helix of the motor domain is crucial to microtubule end recognition. Mutation of the residues K524, E525 and R528, which are located in the C-terminal half of the α4-helix, specifically disrupts the ability of MCAK to recognize the microtubule end...
October 2016: Open Biology
Monica Rodríguez-Bolaños, Nallely Cabrera, Ruy Perez-Montfort
The reactivation of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) from unfolded monomers induced by guanidine hydrochloride involves different amino acids of its sequence in different stages of protein refolding. We describe a systematic mutagenesis method to find critical residues for certain physico-chemical properties of a protein. The two similar TIMs of Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi have different reactivation velocities and efficiencies. We used a small number of chimeric enzymes, additive mutants and planned site-directed mutants to produce an enzyme from T...
October 2016: Open Biology
Fabian Lorenzo-Diaz, Cris Fernández-Lopez, Pierre-Emmanuel Douarre, Adrian Baez-Ortega, Carlos Flores, Philippe Glaser, Manuel Espinosa
Streptococcus agalactiae or Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are opportunistic bacteria that can cause lethal sepsis in children and immuno-compromised patients. Their genome is a reservoir of mobile genetic elements that can be horizontally transferred. Among them, integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) and the smaller integrative and mobilizable elements (IMEs) primarily reside in the bacterial chromosome, yet have the ability to be transferred between cells by conjugation. ICEs and IMEs are therefore a source of genetic variability that participates in the spread of antibiotic resistance...
October 2016: Open Biology
Atahualpa Castillo-Morales, Jimena Monzón-Sandoval, Alexandra A de Sousa, Araxi O Urrutia, Humberto Gutierrez
Increased brain size is thought to have played an important role in the evolution of mammals and is a highly variable trait across lineages. Variations in brain size are closely linked to corresponding variations in the size of the neocortex, a distinct mammalian evolutionary innovation. The genomic features that explain and/or accompany variations in the relative size of the neocortex remain unknown. By comparing the genomes of 28 mammalian species, we show that neocortical expansion relative to the rest of the brain is associated with variations in gene family size (GFS) of gene families that are significantly enriched in biological functions associated with chemotaxis, cell-cell signalling and immune response...
October 2016: Open Biology
Tim I M Malcolm, Daniel J Hodson, Elizabeth A Macintyre, Suzanne D Turner
Both B and T lymphocytes have signature traits that set them apart from other cell types. They actively and repeatedly rearrange their DNA in order to produce a unique and functional antigen receptor, they have potential for massive clonal expansion upon encountering antigen via this receptor or its precursor, and they have the capacity to be extremely long lived as 'memory' cells. All three of these traits are fundamental to their ability to function as the adaptive immune response to infectious agents, but concurrently render these cells vulnerable to transformation...
September 2016: Open Biology
Ashley J Waardenberg, Bernou Homan, Stephanie Mohamed, Richard P Harvey, Romaric Bouveret
The ability to accurately predict the DNA targets and interacting cofactors of transcriptional regulators from genome-wide data can significantly advance our understanding of gene regulatory networks. NKX2-5 is a homeodomain transcription factor that sits high in the cardiac gene regulatory network and is essential for normal heart development. We previously identified genomic targets for NKX2-5 in mouse HL-1 atrial cardiomyocytes using DNA-adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID). Here, we apply machine learning algorithms and propose a knowledge-based feature selection method for predicting NKX2-5 protein : protein interactions based on motif grammar in genome-wide DNA-binding data...
September 2016: Open Biology
Julius Bogomolovas, Jennifer R Fleming, Brian R Anderson, Rhys Williams, Stephan Lange, Bernd Simon, Muzamil M Khan, Rüdiger Rudolf, Barbara Franke, Belinda Bullard, Daniel J Rigden, Henk Granzier, Siegfried Labeit, Olga Mayans
Missense single-nucleotide polymorphisms (mSNPs) in titin are emerging as a main causative factor of heart failure. However, distinguishing between benign and disease-causing mSNPs is a substantial challenge. Here, we research the question of whether a single mSNP in a generic domain of titin can affect heart function as a whole and, if so, how. For this, we studied the mSNP T2850I, seemingly linked to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). We used structural biology, computational simulations and transgenic muscle in vivo methods to track the effect of the mutation from the molecular to the organismal level...
September 2016: Open Biology
S E Taylor, J Bagnall, D Mason, R Levy, D G Fernig, V See
Cellular adaptation to hypoxia occurs via a complex programme of gene expression mediated by the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). The oxygen labile alpha subunits, HIF-1α/-2α, form a heterodimeric transcription factor with HIF-1β and modulate gene expression. HIF-1α and HIF-2α possess similar domain structure and bind to the same consensus sequence. However, they have different oxygen-dependent stability and activate distinct genes. To better understand these differences, we used fluorescent microscopy to determine precise localization and dynamics...
September 2016: Open Biology
Sylvie Moureau, Janna Luessing, Emma Christina Harte, Muriel Voisin, Noel Francis Lowndes
Loss of p53, a transcription factor activated by cellular stress, is a frequent event in cancer. The role of p53 in tumour suppression is largely attributed to cell fate decisions. Here, we provide evidence supporting a novel role for p53 in the regulation of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway choice. 53BP1, another tumour suppressor, was initially identified as p53 Binding Protein 1, and has been shown to inhibit DNA end resection, thereby stimulating non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Yet another tumour suppressor, BRCA1, reciprocally promotes end resection and homologous recombination (HR)...
September 2016: Open Biology
Ivan Laponogov, Xiao-Su Pan, Dennis A Veselkov, Ryan T Cirz, Allan Wagman, Heinz E Moser, L Mark Fisher, Mark R Sanderson
As part of a programme of synthesizing and investigating the biological properties of new fluoroquinolone antibacterials and their targeting of topoisomerase IV from Streptococcus pneumoniae, we have solved the X-ray structure of the complexes of two new 7,8-bridged fluoroquinolones (with restricted C7 group rotation favouring tight binding) in complex with the topoisomerase IV from S. pneumoniae and an 18-base-pair DNA binding site-the E-site-found by our DNA mapping studies to bind drug strongly in the presence of topoisomerase IV (Leo et al...
September 2016: Open Biology
Xia Wang, Feng Jiang, Jianhua Zheng, Lihong Chen, Jie Dong, Lilian Sun, Yafang Zhu, Bo Liu, Jian Yang, Guowei Yang, Qi Jin
Outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) is an enzyme located in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. OMPLA exhibits broad substrate specificity, and some of its substrates are located in the cellular envelope. Generally, the enzymatic activity can only be induced by perturbation of the cell envelope integrity through diverse methods. Although OMPLA has been thoroughly studied as a membrane protein in Escherichia coli and is constitutively expressed in many other bacterial pathogens, little is known regarding the functions of OMPLA during the process of bacterial infection...
September 2016: Open Biology
Bilal Al Jaam, Katy Heu, Florian Pennarubia, Alexandre Segelle, Laetitia Magnol, Agnès Germot, Sébastien Legardinier, Véronique Blanquet, Abderrahman Maftah
Postnatal skeletal muscle growth results from the activation of satellite cells and/or an increase in protein synthesis. The Notch signalling pathway maintains satellite cells in a quiescent state, and once activated, sustains their proliferation and commitment towards differentiation. In mammals, POFUT1-mediated O-fucosylation regulates the interactions between NOTCH receptors and ligands of the DELTA/JAGGED family, thus initiating the activation of canonical Notch signalling. Here, we analysed the consequences of downregulated expression of the Pofut1 gene on postnatal muscle growth in mutant Pofut1(cax/cax) (cax, compact axial skeleton) mice and differentiation of their satellite cell-derived myoblasts (SCDMs)...
September 2016: Open Biology
John Chattaway, R Andrei Ramirez-Valdez, Paul E Chappell, Joseph J E Caesar, Susan M Lea, Jim Kaufman
Mammalian butyrophilins have various important functions, one for lipid binding but others as ligands for co-inhibition of αβ T cells or for stimulation of γδ T cells in the immune system. The chicken BG homologues are dimers, with extracellular immunoglobulin variable (V) domains joined by cysteines in the loop equivalent to complementarity-determining region 1 (CDR1). BG genes are found in three genomic locations: BG0 on chromosome 2, BG1 in the classical MHC (the BF-BL region) and many BG genes in the BG region just outside the MHC...
September 2016: Open Biology
Vasanth Thamodaran, Alexander W Bruce
During mouse preimplantation embryo development, the classically described second cell-fate decision involves the specification and segregation, in blastocyst inner cell mass (ICM), of primitive endoderm (PrE) from pluripotent epiblast (EPI). The active role of fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signalling during PrE differentiation, particularly in the context of Erk1/2 pathway activation, is well described. However, we report that p38 family mitogen-activated protein kinases (namely p38α/Mapk14 and p38β/Mapk11; referred to as p38-Mapk14/11) also participate in PrE formation...
September 2016: Open Biology
Michał Pasternak, Sybille Pfender, Balaji Santhanam, Melina Schuh
Once every menstrual cycle, eggs are ovulated into the oviduct where they await fertilization. The ovulated eggs are arrested in metaphase of the second meiotic division, and only complete meiosis upon fertilization. It is crucial that the maintenance of metaphase arrest is tightly controlled, because the spontaneous activation of the egg would preclude the development of a viable embryo (Zhang et al. 2015 J. Genet. Genomics 42, 477-485. (doi:10.1016/j.jgg.2015.07.004); Combelles et al. 2011 Hum. Reprod. 26, 545-552...
September 2016: Open Biology
Vaibhav Chand, Deeptashree Nandi, Anita Garg Mangla, Puneet Sharma, Alo Nag
Human ADA3, the evolutionarily conserved transcriptional co-activator, remains the unified part of multiple cellular functions, including regulation of nuclear receptor functions, cell proliferation, apoptosis, senescence, chromatin remodelling, genomic stability and chromosomal maintenance. The past decade has witnessed exciting findings leading to considerable expansion in research related to the biology and regulation of hADA3. Embryonic lethality in homozygous knockout Ada3 mouse signifies the importance of this gene product during early embryonic development...
September 2016: Open Biology
Björn Goldenbogen, Wolfgang Giese, Marie Hemmen, Jannis Uhlendorf, Andreas Herrmann, Edda Klipp
The cell wall defines cell shape and maintains integrity of fungi and plants. When exposed to mating pheromone, Saccharomyces cerevisiae grows a mating projection and alters in morphology from spherical to shmoo form. Although structural and compositional alterations of the cell wall accompany shape transitions, their impact on cell wall elasticity is unknown. In a combined theoretical and experimental approach using finite-element modelling and atomic force microscopy (AFM), we investigated the influence of spatially and temporally varying material properties on mating morphogenesis...
September 2016: Open Biology
Baolei Jia, Che Ok Jeon
The ease of genetic manipulation, low cost, rapid growth and number of previous studies have made Escherichia coli one of the most widely used microorganism species for producing recombinant proteins. In this post-genomic era, challenges remain to rapidly express and purify large numbers of proteins for academic and commercial purposes in a high-throughput manner. In this review, we describe several state-of-the-art approaches that are suitable for the cloning, expression and purification, conducted in parallel, of numerous molecules, and we discuss recent progress related to soluble protein expression, mRNA folding, fusion tags, post-translational modification and production of membrane proteins...
August 2016: Open Biology
Manuel Gey, Renate Wanner, Corinna Schilling, Maria T Pedro, Daniela Sinske, Bernd Knöll
Axon injury in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) induces a regeneration-associated gene (RAG) response. Atf3 (activating transcription factor 3) is such a RAG and ATF3's transcriptional activity might induce 'effector' RAGs (e.g. small proline rich protein 1a (Sprr1a), Galanin (Gal), growth-associated protein 43 (Gap43)) facilitating peripheral axon regeneration. We provide a first analysis of Atf3 mouse mutants in peripheral nerve regeneration. In Atf3 mutant mice, facial nerve regeneration and neurite outgrowth of adult ATF3-deficient primary dorsal root ganglia neurons was decreased...
August 2016: Open Biology
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