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Chemical communication

Simon Baeckens, Roberto García-Roa, José Martín, Raoul Van Damme
Lizards communicate with others via chemical signals, the composition of which may vary among species. Although the selective pressures and constraints affecting chemical signal diversity at the species level remain poorly understood, the possible role of diet has been largely neglected. The chemical signals of many lizards originate from the femoral glands that exude a mixture of semiochemicals, and may be used in a variety of contexts. We analyzed the lipophilic fraction of the glandular secretions of 45 species of lacertid lizard species by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry...
September 16, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jay K Goldberg, Alisa K Wallace, Stacey L Weiss
Sex pheromones can perform a variety of functions ranging from revealing the location of suitable mates to being honest signals of mate quality, and they are used in the mate selection process by many species of reptile. In this study, we determined whether the skin lipids of female striped plateau lizards (Sceloporus virgatus) can predict the reproductive quality of females, thereby having the potential to serve as pheromones. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we identified 17 compounds present in skin lipids of female lizards...
September 14, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
James I Nagy, Alberto E Pereda, John E Rash
Electrical synapses with diverse configurations and functions occur at a variety of interneuronal appositions, thereby significantly expanding the physiological complexity of neuronal circuitry over that provided solely by chemical synapses. Gap junctions between apposed dendritic and somatic plasma membranes form "purely electrical" synapses that allow for electrical communication between coupled neurons. In addition, gap junctions at axon terminals synapsing on dendrites and somata allow for "mixed" (dual chemical+electrical) synaptic transmission...
September 11, 2017: Neuroscience Letters
Christoph Johannes Kleineidam, Eva Linda Heeb, Stefanie Neupert
Social insects vigorously defend their nests against con- and heterospecific competitors. Collective defense is also seen at highly profitable food sources. Aggressive responses are elicited or promoted by several means of communication, e.g. alarm pheromones and other chemical markings. In this study, we demonstrate that the social environment and interactions among colony members (nestmates) modulates the propensity to engage in aggressive behavior and therefore plays an important role in allocating workers to a defense task...
2017: PloS One
Yang-Nim Park, Thyagarajan Srikantha, Karla J Daniels, Melissa R Jacob, Ameeta K Agarwal, Xing-Cong Li, David R Soll
In screening natural plant extracts for antifungal activity, assessing the effects on growth of cells in suspension or in the wells of microtiter plates is expedient. However, microorganisms, including Candida albicans, grow in nature as biofilms, organized cellular communities with complex architecture, capable of conditioning their microenvironment, communicating, and excluding low and high molecular weight molecules, and white blood cells. Here, a confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) protocol is described for testing the effects of large numbers of agents on biofilm development...
September 11, 2017: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
John O'Brien
Essentially all animals with nervous systems utilize electrical synapses as a core element of communication. Electrical synapses, formed by gap junctions between neurons, provide rapid, bidirectional communication that accomplishes tasks distinct from and complementary to chemical synapses. These include coordination of neuron activity, suppression of voltage noise, establishment of electrical pathways that define circuits, and modulation of high order network behavior. In keeping with the omnipresent demand to alter neural network function in order to respond to environmental cues and perform tasks, electrical synapses exhibit extensive plasticity...
September 8, 2017: Neuroscience Letters
Thiago Acosta Oliveira, Renan Idalencio, Fabiana Kalichak, João Gabriel Dos Santos Rosa, Gessi Koakoski, Murilo Sander de Abreu, Ana Cristina Varrone Giacomini, Darlan Gusso, Denis Brook Rosemberg, Rodrigo Egydio Barreto, Leonardo José Gil Barcellos
Chemical communication relating to predation risk is a trait common among fish species. Prey fish under threat of predation can signal risk to conspecific fish, which then exhibit defensive responses. Fish also assess predation risk by visual cues and change their behavior accordingly. Here, we explored whether these behavioral changes act as visual alarm signals to conspecific fish that are not initially under risk. We show that shoals of zebrafish (Danio rerio) visually exposed to a predator display antipredator behaviors...
2017: PeerJ
Nicole N Scheff, Yi Ye, Aditi Bhattacharya, Justin MacRae, Dustin H Hickman, Atul K Sharma, John C Dolan, Brian L Schmidt
Oral cancer patients report severe pain during function. Inflammation plays a role in the oral cancer microenvironment; however, the role of immune cells and associated secretion of inflammatory mediators in oral cancer pain has not been well defined. In this study, we utilized two oral cancer mouse models: a cell line supernatant injection model and the 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO) chemical carcinogenesis model. We used the two models to study changes in immune cell infiltrate and orofacial nociception associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (oSCC)...
September 1, 2017: Pain
Kirstin Scherlach, Christian Hertweck
The co-existence of different microbial species in one habitat is prerequisite for many ecosystem processes. To facilitate co-habitation of ecological niches, intricate mechanisms have evolved that regulate the growth and the behaviour of microbes. A crucial aspect for the establishment and maintenance of a microbial population is the communication among species. Whereas intraspecies communication processes have been widely studied, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying interspecies interactions...
September 8, 2017: Natural Product Reports
Grace M Loxley, Jennifer Unsworth, Michael J Turton, Alexandra Jebb, Kathryn S Lilley, Deborah M Simpson, Daniel J Rigden, Jane L Hurst, Robert J Beynon
The urine of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) contains substantial quantities of a small protein that is expressed at much higher levels in males than females, and at higher levels in males in the breeding season. This protein was purified and completely sequenced at the protein level by mass spectrometry. Leucine/isoleucine ambiguity was completely resolved by metabolic labelling, monitoring the incorporation of dietary deuterated leucine into specific sites in the protein. The predicted mass of the sequenced protein was exactly consonant with the mass of the protein measured in bank vole urine samples, correcting for the formation of two disulfide bonds...
September 2017: Open Biology
Nigel Unwin
Rapid communication at the chemical synapse depends on the action of ion channels residing in the postsynaptic membrane. The channels open transiently upon the binding of a neurotransmitter released from the presynaptic nerve terminal, eliciting an electrical response. Membrane lipids also play a vital but poorly understood role in this process of synaptic transmission. The present study examines the lipid distribution around nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in tubular vesicles made from postsynaptic membranes of the Torpedo ray, taking advantage of the recent advances in cryo-EM...
July 1, 2017: IUCrJ
Constance Mehlgarten, Heike Prochaska, Alexander Hammermeister, Wael Abdel-Fattah, Melanie Wagner, Rościsław Krutyhołowa, Sang Eun Jun, Gyung-Tae Kim, Sebastian Glatt, Karin D Breunig, Michael J R Stark, Raffael Schaffrath
Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells are killed by zymocin, a tRNase ribotoxin complex from Kluyveromyces lactis, which cleaves anticodons and inhibits protein synthesis. Zymocin's action requires specific chemical modification of uridine bases in the anticodon wobble position (U34) by the Elongator complex (Elp1-Elp6). Hence, loss of anticodon modification in mutants lacking Elongator or related KTI (K. lactis Toxin Insensitive) genes protects against tRNA cleavage and confers resistance to the toxin. Here, we show that zymocin can be used as a tool to genetically analyse KTI12, a gene previously shown to code for an Elongator partner protein...
September 5, 2017: Toxins
Natalin S Vicente, Monique Halloy
Multimodal communication involves the use of signals and cues across two or more sensory modalities. The genus Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) offers a great potential for studies on the ecology and evolution of multimodal communication, including visual and chemical signals. In this study, we analyzed the response of male and female Liolaemus pacha to chemical, visual and combined (multimodal) stimuli. Using cue-isolation tests, we registered the number of tongue flicks and headbob displays from exposure to signals in each modality...
August 12, 2017: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Sujay Laskar, Luis Sánchez-Sánchez, Manuel López-Ortiz, Hugo López-Muñoz, María L Escobar-Sánchez, Arturo T Sánchez, Ignacio Regla
Identification of a new class of antitumor agent capable to induce apoptosis without triggering necrotic cell death event is challenging. The present communication describes the multicomponent synthesis of seven new (1S,4S)-2,5-diazabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-dithiocarbamates and their in vitro antiproliferative activity on cervical cancer cell line (CaSki), breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB231), lung cancer cell line (SK-Lu-1) and human lymphocytes. Among the synthesized dithiocarbamates, compound 9e displayed significant antiproliferative activity without inducing any necrotic cell death (both on tumour cells and lymphocytes) and induced apoptosis in tumor cells by the caspase dependent apoptotic pathway...
December 2017: Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry
Xiaoying Lin, Yi Liu, Meihua Lin, Qian Zhang, Zhihong Nie
This communication describes a robust wet-chemical synthetic strategy for the preparation of monodispersed circular and triangular gold nanorings. The localized surface plasmon resonance of the nanorings can be tuned by controlling the outer diameter and ridge thickness of the nanorings.
September 4, 2017: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
N Hambruch, S Kumstel, J-D Haeger, C Pfarrer
INTRODUCTION: Impaired placental maturation has been associated with retention of fetal membranes, which is a major reproductive disease in cattle. This maturation includes alterations in all tissue compartments of the placenta, specifically of epithelial and stroma cells and extracellular matrix. It is believed to be controlled by hormones, adhesion molecules and proteolytic enzymes. To investigate if the proteolytic enzyme heparanase and its substrates, the syndecans (SDCs) could be involved in the release of fetal membranes, their expression in bovine placentomes was analyzed...
September 2017: Placenta
Nan Chen, Yu Bai, Yong-Liang Fan, Tong-Xian Liu
Insect cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play critical roles in reducing water loss and chemical communication. Species-specific CHC profiles have been used increasingly as an excellent character for species classification. However, considerably less is known about their potential for population delimitation within species. The aims of this study were to develop a solid-phase microextraction (SPME)-based CHC collection method and to investigate whether CHC profiles could serve as potential chemotaxonomic tools for intraspecific delimitation in Acyrthosiphon pisum...
2017: PloS One
Junying Ma, Hongbo Huang, Yunchang Xie, Zhiyong Liu, Jin Zhao, Chunyan Zhang, Yanxi Jia, Yun Zhang, Hua Zhang, Tianyu Zhang, Jianhua Ju
Tuberculosis remains one of the world's deadliest communicable diseases, novel anti-tuberculosis agents are urgently needed due to severe drug resistance and the co-epidemic of tuberculosis/human immunodeficiency virus. Here, we show the isolation of six anti-mycobacterial ilamycin congeners (1-6) bearing rare L-3-nitro-tyrosine and L-2-amino-4-hexenoic acid structural units from the deep sea-derived Streptomyces atratus SCSIO ZH16. The biosynthesis of the rare L-3-nitrotyrosine and L-2-amino-4-hexenoic acid units as well as three pre-tailoring and two post-tailoring steps are probed in the ilamycin biosynthetic machinery through a series of gene inactivation, precursor chemical complementation, isotope-labeled precursor feeding experiments, as well as structural elucidation of three intermediates (6-8) from the respective mutants...
August 30, 2017: Nature Communications
Caren Weinhouse
Crosstalk between the nuclear epigenome and mitochondria, both in normal physiological function and in responses to environmental toxicant exposures, is a developing sub-field of interest in environmental and molecular toxicology. The majority (∼99%) of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nuclear genome, so programmed communication among nuclear, cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial compartments is essential for maintaining cellular health. In this review, we will focus on correlative and mechanistic evidence for direct impacts of each system on the other, discuss demonstrated or potential crosstalk in the context of chemical insult, and highlight biological research questions for future study...
August 27, 2017: Toxicology
Roberto García-Roa, Manuel Jara, Simon Baeckens, Pilar López, Raoul Van Damme, José Martín, Daniel Pincheira-Donoso
Chemical communication plays a central role in social, sexual and ecological interactions among animals. However, the macroevolutionary diversification of traits responsible for chemical signaling remains fundamentally unknown. Most research investigating evolutionary diversification of glands responsible for the production of chemical signals has focused on arthropods, while its study among vertebrates remains neglected. Using a global-scale dataset covering > 80% (7,904 species) of the living diversity of lizards and snakes (squamates), we investigate rates, trajectories and phylogenetic patterns of diversification of their follicular glands for chemical communication...
August 24, 2017: Scientific Reports
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