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Abdalla Elbialy, Shuichi Asakawa, Shugo Watabe, Shigeharu Kinoshita
Acromegaly is a pathological condition due to excess growth hormone (GH) secretion. Acromegaly patients exhibit a deterioration of health and many associated complications, such as cardiovascular issues, arthritis, kidney diseases, muscular weakness, and colon cancer. Since these complications are generalized throughout the body, we investigated the effect of GH excess on cellular integrity. Here, we established stable acromegaly model zebrafish lines that overexpress tilapia GH and the red fluorescence protein (RFP) reporter gene for tracking GH gene expression throughout generations, and performed RNA-Seq data analysis from different organs...
October 17, 2018: Biology
Lola Esland, Marco Larrea-Alvarez, Saul Purton
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a model alga of increasing interest as a cell factory for the production of valuable compounds, including therapeutic proteins and bioactive metabolites. Expression of foreign genes in the chloroplast is particularly advantageous as: (i) accumulation of product in this sub-cellular compartment minimises potential toxicity to the rest of the cell; (ii) genes can integrate at specific loci of the chloroplast genome (plastome) by homologous recombination; (iii) the high ploidy of the plastome and the high-level expression of chloroplast genes can be exploited to achieve levels of recombinant protein as high as 5% total cell protein; (iv) the lack of any gene silencing mechanisms in the chloroplast ensures stable expression of transgenes...
October 10, 2018: Biology
Kiran S Panickar, Dennis E Jewell
One of the significant organ systems which decline in aging is the kidney. While the causes of age-associated decline in renal function are likely multifactorial, oxidative stress and inflammation are hypothesized to play important roles in the structural and functional changes of the kidney. During aging there is a general decline in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a primary measurement used to assess kidney function. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been hypothesized to have a significant detrimental effect on renal function in aging and this may be attenuated by renal protective dietary ingredients...
September 29, 2018: Biology
Dennis K Bideshi, Tatsinda Spears, Heba A H Zaghloul, Yeping Tan, Yves Bigot, Brian A Federici
Eukaryotic dsDNA viruses use small basic protamine-like proteins or histones, typically <15 kDa, to condense and encapsidate their genomic (g)DNAs during virogenesis. Ascoviruses are large dsDNA (~100⁻200 kbp) viruses that are pathogenic to lepidopteran larvae. Little is known about the molecular basis for condensation and encapsidation of their gDNAs. Previous proteomic analysis showed that Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus (SfAV-1a) virions contain a large unique DNA-binding protein (P64; 64 kDa, pI = 12...
September 11, 2018: Biology
Rafael Plá Matielo Lemos, Cristiane Barbosa D'Oliveira Matielo, Dalvan Carlos Beise, Vanessa Gonçalves da Rosa, Deise Schröder Sarzi, Luiz Fernando Würdig Roesch, Valdir Marcos Stefenon
Invasive plant species are expected to display high dispersal capacity but low levels of genetic diversity due to the founder effect occurring at each invasion episode. Understanding the history of invasions and the levels of genetic diversity of such species is an important task for planning management and monitoring strategy for these events. Peruvian Peppertree ( Schinus molle L.) is a pioneer tree species native from South America which was introduced in North America, Europe and Africa, becoming a threat to these non-native habitats...
August 10, 2018: Biology
Thomas Heine, Willem J H van Berkel, George Gassner, Karl-Heinz van Pée, Dirk Tischler
Flavoprotein monooxygenases create valuable compounds that are of high interest for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries, among others. Monooxygenases that use flavin as cofactor are either single- or two-component systems. Here we summarize the current knowledge about two-component flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent monooxygenases and describe their biotechnological relevance. Two-component FAD-dependent monooxygenases catalyze hydroxylation, epoxidation, and halogenation reactions and are physiologically involved in amino acid metabolism, mineralization of aromatic compounds, and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites...
August 2, 2018: Biology
Peter L Pfeffer
The self-organisation of a fertilised egg to form a blastocyst structure, which consists of three distinct cell lineages (trophoblast, epiblast and hypoblast) arranged around an off-centre cavity, is unique to mammals. While the starting point (the zygote) and endpoint (the blastocyst) are similar in all mammals, the intervening events have diverged. This review examines and compares the descriptive and functional data surrounding embryonic gene activation, symmetry-breaking, first and second lineage establishment, and fate commitment in a wide range of mammalian orders...
July 23, 2018: Biology
Klaudia Witte, Katharina Baumgärtner, Corinna Röhrig, Sabine Nöbel
Animals often use public information for mate-choice decisions by observing conspecifics as they choose their mates and then copying this witnessed decision. When the copier, however, is detected by the choosing individual, the latter often alters its behavior and spends more time with the previously non-preferred mate. This behavioral change is called the audience effect. The deception hypothesis states that the choosing individual changes its behavior to distract the audience from the preferred mate. The deception hypothesis, however, only applies if the audience indeed copies the pretended mate choice of the observed individual...
July 13, 2018: Biology
Enrico Civiero, Manuela Pintus, Claudio Ruggeri, Elena Tamburini, Francesca Sollai, Enrico Sanjust, Paolo Zucca
Agriculture and intensive farming methods are the greatest cause of nitrogen pollution. In particular, nitrification (the conversion of ammonia to nitrate) plays a role in global climate changes, affecting the bio-availability of nitrogen in soil and contributing to eutrophication. In this paper, the Rhodotorula diobovata DSBCA06 was investigated for growth kinetics on nitrite, nitrate, or ammonia as the sole nitrogen sources (10 mM). Complete nitrite removal was observed in 48 h up to 10 mM initial nitrite...
June 30, 2018: Biology
Keith Douglas Farnsworth
Two broad features are jointly necessary for autonomous agency: organisational closure and the embodiment of an objective-function providing a &lsquo;goal&rsquo;: so far only organisms demonstrate both. Organisational closure has been studied (mostly in abstract), especially as cell autopoiesis and the cybernetic principles of autonomy, but the role of an internalised &lsquo;goal&rsquo; and how it is instantiated by cell signalling and the functioning of nervous systems has received less attention...
June 29, 2018: Biology
Jorge A Sosa-Gutiérrez, Mónica A Valdéz-Solana, Tamara Y Forbes-Hernández, Claudia I Avitia-Domínguez, Gonzalo G Garcia-Vargas, José M Salas-Pacheco, Oscar Flores-Herrera, Alfredo Téllez-Valencia, Maurizio Battino, Erick Sierra-Campos
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of diabetes, but the metabolic alterations during early stages of the disease remain unknown. The ability of liver cells to rearrange their metabolism plays an important role in compensating the energy shortage and may provide cell survival. Moringa oleifera leaves have been studied for its health properties against diabetes, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic liver disease. We postulated that M. oleifera executes a protective function on mitochondrial functionality in HepG2 treated with high glucose...
June 26, 2018: Biology
Kasey D Fowler-Finn, Sarah L Boyer, Raine Ikagawa, Timothy Jeffries, Penelope C Kahn, Eva M Larsen, Daniel Lee, Morgan Smeester
The study of mating choices often focuses on correlates of traits to the overall outcome of a mating interaction. However, mating interactions can proceed through a series of stages, with opportunities for assessment at each stage. We compared whether male or female size predicted mating interaction outcome across several stages of mating in five species of North American leiobunine harvestmen (commonly known as daddy longlegs). Leiobunine harvestmen have been previously shown to exhibit incredible morphological diversity consistent with a spectrum of male⁻female antagonism...
June 14, 2018: Biology
Louise R Barreto, Thayná Barreto, Sonia Melo, Cristina Pungartnik, Martin Brendel
Pathogenesis-related proteins (PRs) are induced in plants after infection by pathogens and/or abiotic stress. Among these proteins, the family 10 (PR-10) influences the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and shows antimicrobial ribonuclease activity. Tc PR-10p (Pathogenesis-related Protein 10 of Theobroma cacao ) was isolated from resistant and susceptible Moniliophthora perniciosa cacao cultivars. Cell survival with Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant lines deficient in ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins indicated the influence on resistance to Tc PR-10p...
June 13, 2018: Biology
Dashuang Shi, Ljubica Caldovic, Mendel Tuchman
Carbamyl phosphate (CP) is well-known as an essential intermediate of pyrimidine and arginine/urea biosynthesis. Chemically, CP can be easily synthesized from dihydrogen phosphate and cyanate. Enzymatically, CP can be synthesized using three different classes of enzymes: (1) ATP-grasp fold protein based carbamyl phosphate synthetase (CPS); (2) Amino-acid kinase fold carbamate kinase (CK)-like CPS (anabolic CK or aCK); and (3) Catabolic transcarbamylase. The first class of CPS can be further divided into three different types of CPS as CPS I, CPS II, and CPS III depending on the usage of ammonium or glutamine as its nitrogen source, and whether N -acetyl-glutamate is its essential co-factor...
June 12, 2018: Biology
Azure Yarbrough, Katherine Maringer, Entsar J Saheb, Sanaa Jawed, John Bush
Rab GTPases are essential regulators of many cellular processes and play an important role in downstream signaling vital to proper cell function. We sought to elucidate the role of novel D. discoideum GTPase RabS. Cell lines over-expressing DdRabS and expressing DdRabS N137I (dominant negative (DN)) proteins were generated, and it was determined that DdRabS localized to endosomes, ER-Golgi membranes, and the contractile vacuole system. It appeared to function in vesicular trafficking, and the secretion of lysosomal enzymes...
May 28, 2018: Biology
Simon Orozco-Arias, Juan Liu, Reinel Tabares-Soto, Diego Ceballos, Douglas Silva Domingues, Andréa Garavito, Ray Ming, Romain Guyot
One particular class of Transposable Elements (TEs), called Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs), retrotransposons, comprises the most abundant mobile elements in plant genomes. Their copy number can vary from several hundreds to up to a few million copies per genome, deeply affecting genome organization and function. The detailed classification of LTR retrotransposons is an essential step to precisely understand their effect at the genome level, but remains challenging in large-sized genomes, requiring the use of optimized bioinformatics tools that can take advantage of supercomputers...
May 25, 2018: Biology
Clemer Abad, Melissa M Cook, Lei Cao, Julie R Jones, Nalini R Rao, Lynn Dukes-Rimsky, Rini Pauly, Cindy Skinner, Yunsheng Wang, Feng Luo, Roger E Stevenson, Katherina Walz, Anand K Srivastava
Deletions and mutations involving the Retinoic Acid Induced 1 ( RAI1 ) gene at 17p11.2 cause Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS). Here we report a patient with autism as the main clinical presentation, with some SMS-like features and a rare de novo RAI1 gene mutation, c.3440G > A (p.R1147Q). We functionally characterized the RAI1 p.R1147Q mutant protein. The mutation, located near the nuclear localization signal, had no effect on the subcellular localization of the mutant protein. However, similar to previously reported RAI1 missense mutations in SMS patients, the RAI1 p...
May 24, 2018: Biology
Forum Bhatt, Vishal Patel, Constance J Jeffery
Periplasmic ligand-binding proteins (PBPs) bind ligands with a high affinity and specificity. They undergo a large conformational change upon ligand binding, and they have a robust protein fold. These physical features have made them ideal candidates for use in protein engineering projects to develop novel biosensors and signaling molecules. The Escherichia coli MppA (murein peptide permease A) PBP binds the murein tripeptide, l-alanyl-γ-d-glutamyl-meso-diaminopimelate, (l-Ala-γ-d-Glu-meso-Dap), which contains both a D-amino acid and a gamma linkage between two of the amino acids...
May 19, 2018: Biology
Seongjoon Kang, Obed W Odom, Candice L Malone, Saravanan Thangamani, David L Herrin
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii ( Chlamydomonas ) strains that are toxic to mosquito larvae because they express chloroplast transgenes that are based on the mosquitocidal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) could be very useful in mosquito control. Chlamydomonas has several advantages for this approach, including genetic controls not generally available with industrial algae. The Bti toxin is produced by sporulating bacteria and has been used for mosquito control for >30 years without creating highly resistant mosquito populations...
May 8, 2018: Biology
Daniel Fels
Life is based on two aspects: matter and a non-material, electrical component. In a dynamic system of reciprocal causality, matter and the so-called bioelectricity interact with one another, forming a functional unity. The aim of this essay is to summarize evidence for bioelectricity, for the sensitivity of biosystems to external physical factors and for the interactions of internal bioelectricity with internal biochemical structures. I propose non-material information of bioelectrical states to be just as inheritable from generation to generation as is the material genetic code...
May 7, 2018: Biology
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