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Isabella Maiellaro, Martin J Lohse, Robert J Kittel, Davide Calebiro
The second messenger cyclic AMP (cAMP) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity. Although there is evidence for local control of synaptic transmission and plasticity, it is less clear whether a similar spatial confinement of cAMP signaling exists. Here, we suggest a possible biophysical basis for the site-specific regulation of synaptic plasticity by cAMP, a highly diffusible small molecule that transforms the physiology of synapses in a local and specific manner. By exploiting the octopaminergic system of Drosophila, which mediates structural synaptic plasticity via a cAMP-dependent pathway, we demonstrate the existence of local cAMP signaling compartments of micrometer dimensions within single motor neurons...
October 25, 2016: Cell Reports
Nuno Miguel Luis, Lifen Wang, Mauricio Ortega, Hansong Deng, Subhash D Katewa, Patrick Wai-Lun Li, Jason Karpac, Heinrich Jasper, Pankaj Kapahi
Dietary restriction (DR) is one of the most robust lifespan-extending interventions in animals. The beneficial effects of DR involve a metabolic adaptation toward increased triglyceride usage. The regulatory mechanism and the tissue specificity of this metabolic switch remain unclear. Here, we show that the IRE1/XBP1 endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling module mediates metabolic adaptation upon DR in flies by promoting triglyceride synthesis and accumulation in enterocytes (ECs) of the Drosophila midgut...
October 25, 2016: Cell Reports
Kuo An Liao, Nicanor González-Morales, Frieder Schöck
Z-discs are organizing centers that establish and maintain myofibril structure and function. Important Z-disc proteins are α-actinin, which cross-links actin thin filaments at the Z-disc and Zasp PDZ domain proteins, which directly interact with α-actinin. Here we investigate the biochemical and genetic nature of this interaction in more detail. Zasp52 is the major Drosophila Zasp PDZ domain protein, and is required for myofibril assembly and maintenance. We show by in vitro biochemistry that the PDZ domain plus a C-terminal extension is the only area of Zasp52 involved in the interaction with α-actinin...
October 2016: PLoS Genetics
Andrew S Powers, Jeffrey Grizzaffi, Richard Ribchester, Gregory A Lnenicka
Studies of synaptic homeostasis during muscle fiber (MF) growth in Drosophila larvae have focused on the regulation of the quantal content of transmitter release. However, early studies in crayfish and frog suggested that regulation of quantal current size may be an integral mechanism in synaptic homeostasis. To examine this further in Drosophila, we compared the electrical properties, miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials (minEPSPs) and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (minEPSCs) in different-sized MFs in third-instar larvae and for a single MF during larval growth...
October 25, 2016: Pflügers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology
Nidhi Sharma Dey, Parvathy Ramesh, Mayank Chugh, Sudip Mandal, Lolitika Mandal
Drosophila hematopoiesis bears striking resemblance with that of vertebrates, both in the context of distinct phases and the signaling molecules. Even though, there has been no evidence of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in Drosophila, the larval lymph gland with its Hedgehog dependent progenitors served as an invertebrate model of progenitor biology. Employing lineage-tracing analyses, we have now identified Notch expressing HSCs in the first instar larval lymph gland. Our studies clearly establish the hierarchical relationship between Notch expressing HSCs and the previously described Domeless expressing progenitors...
October 26, 2016: ELife
Luis Sanchez-Pulido, Laurent Perez, Steffen Kuhn, Isabelle Vernos, Miguel A Andrade-Navarro
BACKGROUND: TPX2 (Targeting Protein for Xklp2) is essential for spindle assembly, activation of the mitotic kinase Aurora A and for triggering microtubule nucleation. Homologs of TPX2 in Chordata and plants were previously identified. Currently, proteins of the TPX2 family have little structural information and only small parts are covered by defined protein domains. METHODS: We have used computational sequence analyses and structural predictions of proteins of the TPX2 family, supported with Circular Dichroism (CD) measurements...
October 26, 2016: BMC Structural Biology
Kanchan A Phatak, Pawan K Khanna, Bimalendu B Nath
With the discovery of nanoscience, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) now appear on the ingredient lists of commercial products along with bulk silver or silver microparticles (AgMPs). In the present study, we have compared the effects of silver in both nano and micro forms to assess whether particle size plays a role in the pigmentation pathway, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. AgNPs were synthesized, characterized and validated. Internalization of the AgNPs and AgMPs was confirmed by atomic absorption spectroscopy...
October 26, 2016: Metallomics: Integrated Biometal Science
Eva Puerma, Dorcas J Orengo, Montserrat Aguadé
Chromosomal polymorphism is widespread in the Drosophila genus, with extensive evidence supporting its adaptive character in diverse species. Moreover, inversions are the major contributors to the genus chromosomal evolution. The molecular characterization of a reduced number of polymorphic inversion breakpoints in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila subobscura supports that their inversions would have mostly originated through a mechanism that generates duplications -staggered double-strand breaks- and has thus the potential to contribute to their adaptive character...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
Hanqian Mao, Hannah E Brown, Debra L Silver
The exon junction complex (EJC) is a multi-protein complex integral to RNA metabolism. Biochemistry and genetic studies have concluded that the EJC is composed of 4 core proteins, MAGOH, EIF4A3, RBM8A, and CASC3. Yet recent studies in Drosophila indicate divergent functions for Barentsz, the mammalian Casc3 ortholog, raising the question as to whether CASC3 is a constitutive component of the EJC. This issue remains poorly understood, particularly in an in vivo mammalian context. We previously found that haploinsufficiency for Magoh, Eif4a3, or Rbm8a disrupts neuronal viability and neural progenitor proliferation, resulting in severe microcephaly...
October 25, 2016: RNA
Aurélien Guillou, Katia Troha, Hui Wang, Nathalie C Franc, Nicolas Buchon
Phagocytosis is an ancient mechanism central to both tissue homeostasis and immune defense. Both the identity of the receptors that mediate bacterial phagocytosis and the nature of the interactions between phagocytosis and other defense mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report that Croquemort (Crq), a Drosophila member of the CD36 family of scavenger receptors, is required for microbial phagocytosis and efficient bacterial clearance. Flies mutant for crq are susceptible to environmental microbes during development and succumb to a variety of microbial infections as adults...
October 2016: PLoS Pathogens
Damon A Clark, Jonathan B Demb
Sensory systems use receptors to extract information from the environment and neural circuits to perform subsequent computations. These computations may be described as algorithms composed of sequential mathematical operations. Comparing these operations across taxa reveals how different neural circuits have evolved to solve the same problem, even when using different mechanisms to implement the underlying math. In this review, we compare how insect and mammalian neural circuits have solved the problem of motion estimation, focusing on the fruit fly Drosophila and the mouse retina...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
John C Tuthill, Rachel I Wilson
The ability of animals to flexibly navigate through complex environments depends on the integration of sensory information with motor commands. The sensory modality most tightly linked to motor control is mechanosensation. Adaptive motor control depends critically on an animal's ability to respond to mechanical forces generated both within and outside the body. The compact neural circuits of insects provide appealing systems to investigate how mechanical cues guide locomotion in rugged environments. Here, we review our current understanding of mechanosensation in insects and its role in adaptive motor control...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Carlos Oliva, Alessia Soldano, Natalia Mora, Natalie De Geest, Annelies Claeys, Maria-Luise Erfurth, Jimena Sierralta, Ariane Ramaekers, Dan Dascenco, Radoslaw K Ejsmont, Dietmar Schmucker, Natalia Sanchez-Soriano, Bassem A Hassan
The axonal wiring molecule Slit and its Round-About (Robo) receptors are conserved regulators of nerve cord patterning. Robo receptors also contribute to wiring brain circuits. Whether molecular mechanisms regulating these signals are modified to fit more complex brain wiring processes is unclear. We investigated the role of Slit and Robo receptors in wiring Drosophila higher-order brain circuits and identified differences in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Robo/Slit function. First, we find that signaling by Robo receptors in the brain is regulated by the Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase RPTP69d...
October 24, 2016: Developmental Cell
Juan Manuel Gomez, Lyubov Chumakova, Natalia A Bulgakova, Nicholas H Brown
Interphase microtubule organization is critical for cell function and tissue architecture. In general, physical mechanisms are sufficient to drive microtubule organization in single cells, whereas cells within tissues are thought to utilize signalling mechanisms. By improving the imaging and quantitation of microtubule alignment within developing Drosophila embryos, here we demonstrate that microtubule alignment underneath the apical surface of epithelial cells follows cell shape. During development, epidermal cell elongation and microtubule alignment occur simultaneously, but by perturbing cell shape, we discover that microtubule organization responds to cell shape, rather than the converse...
October 25, 2016: Nature Communications
Annat Haber, Ian Dworkin
The structure of environmentally induced phenotypic covariation can influence the effective strength and magnitude of natural selection. Yet our understanding of the factors that contribute to and influence the evolutionary lability of such covariation is poor. Most studies have either examined environmental variation without accounting for covariation, or examined phenotypic and genetic covariation without distinguishing the environmental component. In this study we examined the effect of mutational perturbations on different properties of environmental covariation, as well as mean shape...
October 25, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
June Ho Shin, Mikel D Haggadone, John B Sunwoo
The Distal-less (Dlx) homeobox transcription factors (TFs) play a prominent role in regulating multiple facets of vertebrate biology. Though widely studied as mediators of tissue development, recent work has uncovered a role for this TF family in modulating the vertebrate hematopoietic compartment. Pertinent to our study, murine Dlx1-3 are expressed in an innate lymphocyte population known as natural killer (NK) cells, and they are implicated to assume a functional role in the NK cell maturation pathway. However, Dlx target genes are poorly understood...
September 2016: Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports
Laura Brueckner, Joris van Arensbergen, Waseem Akhtar, Ludo Pagie, Bas van Steensel
BACKGROUND: Chromatin proteins control gene activity in a concerted manner. We developed a high-throughput assay to study the effects of the local chromatin environment on the regulatory activity of a protein of interest. The assay combines a previously reported multiplexing strategy based on barcoded randomly integrated reporters with Gal4-mediated tethering. We applied the assay to Drosophila heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a), which is mostly known as a repressive protein but has also been linked to transcriptional activation...
2016: Epigenetics & Chromatin
Suyeun Yu, Eunil Lee, Bodokhsuren Tsogbadrakh, Gwang-Ic Son, Mari Kim
Aging is a universal, irreversible process accompanied by physiological declines that culminate in death. Rapid progress in gerontology research has revealed that aging can be slowed through mild stress-induced hormesis. We previously reported that hyperbaric normoxia (HN, 2 atm absolute pressure with 10% O2) induces a cytoprotective response in vitro by regulating fibronectin. In the present study, we investigated the hormetic effects of prenatal HN exposure on Drosophila healthspan related to molecular defense mechanisms...
October 24, 2016: Aging
Ricardo I Peraza-Vega, América N Castañeda-Sortibrán, Mahara Valverde, Emilio Rojas, Rosario Rodríguez-Arnaiz
The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxicity of the herbicide diuron in the wing-spot test and a novel wing imaginal disk comet assay in Drosophila melanogaster The wing-spot test was performed with standard (ST) and high-bioactivation (HB) crosses after providing chronic 48 h treatment to third instar larvae. A positive dose-response effect was observed in both crosses, but statistically reduced spot frequencies were registered for the HB cross compared with the ST. This latter finding suggests that metabolism differences play an important role in the genotoxic effect of diuron...
October 24, 2016: Toxicology and Industrial Health
John E Pool, Dylan T Braun, Justin B Lack
Drosophila melanogaster originated in tropical Africa before expanding into strikingly different temperate climates in Eurasia and beyond. Here, we find elevated cold tolerance in three distinct geographic regions: beyond the well-studied non-African case, we show that populations from the highlands of Ethiopia and South Africa have significantly increased cold tolerance as well. We observe greater cold tolerance in outbred versus inbred flies, but only in populations with higher inversion frequencies. Each cold-adapted population shows lower inversion frequencies than a closely-related warm-adapted population, suggesting that inversion frequencies may decrease with altitude in addition to latitude...
October 24, 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
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