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Francisca Leal, Martin J Cohn
Limb reduction and loss are hallmarks of snake evolution. Although advanced snakes are completely limbless, basal and intermediate snakes retain pelvic girdles and small rudiments of the femur. Moreover, legs may have re-emerged in extinct snake lineages [1-5], suggesting that the mechanisms of limb development were not completely lost in snakes. Here we report that hindlimb development arrests in python embryos as a result of mutations that abolish essential transcription factor binding sites in the limb-specific enhancer of Sonic hedgehog (SHH)...
October 19, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Marta Gibert, Sonia Paytubi, Sergi Beltrán, Antonio Juárez, Carlos Balsalobre, Cristina Madrid
Plasmids of the incompatibility group HI1 (IncHI1) have been isolated from several Gram-negative pathogens and are associated with the spread of multidrug resistance. Their conjugation is tightly regulated and it is inhibited at temperatures higher than 30°C, indicating that conjugation occurs outside warm-blooded hosts. Using R27, the prototype of IncHI1 plasmids, we report that plasmid transfer efficiency in E. coli strongly depends on the physiological state of the donor cells. Conjugation frequency is high when cells are actively growing, dropping sharply when cells enter the stationary phase of growth...
October 21, 2016: Environmental Microbiology
Annekathrin Widmann, Marc Artinger, Lukas Biesinger, Kathrin Boepple, Christina Peters, Jana Schlechter, Mareike Selcho, Andreas S Thum
Memory formation is a highly complex and dynamic process. It consists of different phases, which depend on various neuronal and molecular mechanisms. In adult Drosophila it was shown that memory formation after aversive Pavlovian conditioning includes-besides other forms-a labile short-term component that consolidates within hours to a longer-lasting memory. Accordingly, memory formation requires the timely controlled action of different neuronal circuits, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and molecules that were initially identified by classical forward genetic approaches...
October 2016: PLoS Genetics
Marijn Bart Martens, Monica Frega, Jessica Classen, Lisa Epping, Elske Bijvank, Marco Benevento, Hans van Bokhoven, Paul Tiesinga, Dirk Schubert, Nael Nadif Kasri
Heterozygous mutations or deletions in the human Euchromatin histone methyltransferase 1 (EHMT1) gene cause Kleefstra syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by autistic-like features and severe intellectual disability (ID). Neurodevelopmental disorders including ID and autism may be related to deficits in activity-dependent wiring of brain circuits during development. Although Kleefstra syndrome has been associated with dendritic and synaptic defects in mice and Drosophila, little is known about the role of EHMT1 in the development of cortical neuronal networks...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
Nicole Mons, Daniel Beracochea
A prime mechanism that contributes to the development and maintenance of alcoholism is the dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and the release of glucocorticoids (cortisol in humans and primates, corticosterone in rodents) from the adrenal glands. In the brain, sustained, local elevation of glucocorticoid concentration even long after cessation of chronic alcohol consumption compromises functional integrity of a circuit, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the hippocampus (HPC), and the amygdala (AMG)...
2016: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Agnieszka Mika, Heidi E Day, Alexander Martinez, Nicole L Rumian, Benjamin N Greenwood, Maciej Chichlowski, Brian M Berg, Monika Fleshner
Manipulating gut microbes may improve mental health. Prebiotics are indigestible compounds that increase the growth and activity of health- promoting microorganisms, yet few studies have examined how prebiotics affect CNS function. Using an acute inescapable stressor known to produce learned helplessness behaviors such as failure to escape and exaggerated fear, we tested whether early life supplementation of a blend of two prebiotics, galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and polydextrose (PDX), and the glycoprotein lactoferrin (LAC) would attenuate behavioral and biological responses to stress later in life...
October 20, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Inga Newie, Rolf Søkilde, Helena Persson, Thiago Jacomasso, Andrej Gorbatenko, Åke Borg, Michiel de Hoon, Stine F Pedersen, Carlos Rovira
We previously reported that the human HER2 gene encodes the intronic microRNA mir-4728, which is overexpressed together with its oncogenic host gene and may act independently of the HER2 receptor. More recently, we also reported that the oncogenic miR-21-5p is regulated by 3' tailing and trimming by the non-canonical poly(A) polymerase PAPD5 and the ribonuclease PARN. Here we demonstrate a dual function for the HER2 locus in upregulation of miR-21-5p; while HER2 signalling activates transcription of mir-21, miR-4728-3p specifically stabilises miR-21-5p through inhibition of PAPD5...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Christopher S Medina, Octavian Biris, Tomas L Falzone, Xiaowei Zhang, Amber J Zimmerman, Elaine L Bearer
Microtubule-based motors carry cargo back and forth between the synaptic region and the cell body. Defects in axonal transport result in peripheral neuropathies, some of which are caused by mutations in KIF5A, a gene encoding one of the heavy chain isoforms of conventional kinesin-1. Some mutations in KIF5A also cause severe central nervous system defects in humans. While transport dynamics in the peripheral nervous system have been well characterized experimentally, transport in the central nervous system is less experimentally accessible and until now not well described...
October 14, 2016: NeuroImage
Anthony Holtmaat, Pico Caroni
Learning and memory are associated with the formation and modification of neuronal assemblies: populations of neurons that encode what has been learned and mediate memory retrieval upon recall. Functional studies of neuronal assemblies have progressed dramatically thanks to recent technological advances. Here we discuss how a focus on assembly formation and consolidation has provided a powerful conceptual framework to relate mechanistic studies of synaptic and circuit plasticity to behaviorally relevant aspects of learning and memory...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Wei-Shan Hung, Pin Ling, Ju-Chien Cheng, Shy-Shin Chang, Ching-Ping Tseng
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a pivotal role in the host response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major cell wall component of Gram-negative bacteria. Here, we elucidated whether the endocytic adaptor protein Disabled-2 (Dab2), which is abundantly expressed in macrophages, plays a role in LPS-stimulated TLR4 signaling and trafficking. Molecular analysis and transcriptome profiling of RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells expressing short-hairpin RNA of Dab2 revealed that Dab2 regulated the TLR4/TRIF pathway upon LPS stimulation...
October 17, 2016: Scientific Reports
John G Conboy
The Rbfox genes encode an ancient family of sequence-specific RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that are critical developmental regulators in multiple tissues including skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and brain. The hallmark of Rbfox proteins is a single high-affinity RRM domain, highly conserved from insects to humans, that binds preferentially to UGCAUG motifs at diverse regulatory sites in pre-mRNA introns, mRNA 3'UTRs, and pre-miRNAs hairpin structures. Versatile regulatory circuits operate on Rbfox pre-mRNA and mRNA to ensure proper expression of Rbfox1 protein isoforms, which then act on the broader transcriptome to regulate alternative splicing networks, mRNA stability and translation, and microRNA processing...
October 17, 2016: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. RNA
Xiaohui Yao, Jingwen Yan, Sungeun Kim, Kwangsik Nho, Shannon L Risacher, Mark Inlow, Jason H Moore, Andrew J Saykin, Li Shen
Enrichment analysis has been widely applied in the genome-wide association studies, where gene sets corresponding to biological pathways are examined for significant associations with a phenotype to help increase statistical power and improve biological interpretation. In this work, we expand the scope of enrichment analysis into brain imaging genetics, an emerging field that studies how genetic variation influences brain structure and function measured by neuroimaging quantitative traits (QT). Given the high dimensionality of both imaging and genetic data, we propose to study Imaging Genetic Enrichment Analysis (IGEA), a new enrichment analysis paradigm that jointly considers meaningful gene sets (GS) and brain circuits (BC) and examines whether any given GS-BC pair is enriched in a list of gene-QT findings...
May 13, 2016: Brain Informatics
Mauricio H Pontes, Jinki Yeom, Eduardo A Groisman
The synthesis of ribosomes is regulated by both amino acid abundance and the availability of ATP, which regenerates guanosine triphosphate (GTP), powers ribosomes, and promotes transcription of rRNA genes. We now report that bacteria supersede both of these controls when experiencing low cytosolic magnesium (Mg(2+)), a divalent cation essential for ribosome stabilization and for neutralization of ATP's negative charge. We uncover a regulatory circuit that responds to low cytosolic Mg(2+) by promoting expression of proteins that import Mg(2+) and lower ATP amounts...
October 8, 2016: Molecular Cell
Michelle N Servaas, Linda Geerligs, Jojanneke A Bastiaansen, Remco J Renken, Jan-Bernard C Marsman, Ilja M Nolte, Johan Ormel, André Aleman, Harriëtte Riese
Neuroticism and genetic variation in the serotonin-transporter (SLC6A4) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene are risk factors for psychopathology. Alterations in the functional integration and segregation of neural circuits have recently been found in individuals scoring higher on neuroticism. The aim of the current study was to investigate how genetic risk factors impact functional network organization and whether genetic risk factors moderate the association between neuroticism and functional network organization...
October 14, 2016: Brain Imaging and Behavior
Nelly Redolfi, Luisa Galla, Andrea Maset, Luca Murru, Eleonora Savoia, Ilaria Zamparo, Angela Gritti, Pierre Billuart, Maria Passafaro, Claudia Lodovichi
Among the X-linked genes associated to intellectual disability, Oligophrenin-1 (OPHN1) encodes for a Rho GTPase-activating protein, a key regulator of several developmental processes, such as dendrite and spine formation and synaptic activity. Inhibitory interneurons play a key role in the development and function of neuronal circuits. Whether mutation of OPHN1 can affect morphology and synaptic properties of inhibitory interneurons remains poorly understood. To address these open questions, we studied in a well established mouse model of X-linked intellectual disability, i...
October 13, 2016: Human Molecular Genetics
A Bonizzato, E Gaffo, G Te Kronnie, S Bortoluzzi
Cell states in hematopoiesis are controlled by master regulators and by complex circuits of a growing family of RNA species impacting cell phenotype maintenance and plasticity. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are rapidly gaining the status of particularly stable transcriptome members with distinctive qualities. RNA-seq identified thousands of circRNAs with developmental stage- and tissue-specific expression corroborating earlier suggestions that circular isoforms are a natural feature of the cell expression program...
October 14, 2016: Blood Cancer Journal
Fan Jia, Huan Miao, Xutao Zhu, Fuqiang Xu
Semliki Forest virus (SFV), a neurotropic virus, has been used to deliver heterologous genes into cells in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we constructed a reporter SFV4-FL-EGFP and found that it can deliver EGFP into neurons located at the injection site without disseminating throughout the brain. Lacking of the capsid gene of SFV4-FL-EGFP does not block its life cycle, while forming replication-competent virus-like particles (VLPs). These VLPs hold subviral genome by using the packaging sequence (PS) located within the nsP2 gene, and can transfer their genome into cells...
October 13, 2016: Journal of Neurovirology
Ashley A Basiorka, Kathy L McGraw, Erika A Eksioglu, Xianghong Chen, Joseph Johnson, Ling Zhang, Qing Zhang, Brittany A Irvine, Thomas Cluzeau, David A Sallman, Eric Padron, Rami Komrokji, Lubomir Sokol, Rebecca C Coll, Avril A B Robertson, Matthew A Cooper, John L Cleveland, Luke A O'Neill, Sheng Wei, Alan F List
Despite genetic heterogeneity, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) share features of cytological dysplasia and ineffective hematopoiesis. We report that a hallmark of MDS is activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which drives clonal expansion and pyroptotic cell death. Independent of genotype, MDS hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) overexpress inflammasome proteins and manifest activated NLRP3 complexes that direct activation of caspase-1, generation of IL-1β and IL-18 and pyroptotic cell death. Mechanistically, pyroptosis is triggered by the alarmin S100A9 that is found in excess in MDS HSPC and bone marrow plasma...
October 13, 2016: Blood
Sivan Subburaju, Andrew J Coleman, Miles G Cunningham, W Brad Ruzicka, Francine M Benes
GABAergic dysfunction in hippocampus, a key feature of schizophrenia (SZ), may contribute to cognitive impairment in this disorder. In stratum oriens (SO) of sector CA3/2 of the human hippocampus, a network of genes involved in the regulation of glutamic acid decarboxylase GAD67 has been identified. Several of the genes in this network including epigenetic factors histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and death-associated protein 6 (DAXX), the GABAergic enzyme GAD65 as well as the kainate receptor (KAR) subunits GluR6 and 7 show significant changes in expression in this area in SZ...
October 12, 2016: Cerebral Cortex
Thorhildur Halldorsdottir, Elisabeth B Binder
Gene-by-environment interactions (G×Es) can provide important biological insights into psychiatric disorders and may consequently have direct clinical implications. In this review, we begin with an overview of the major challengesG×E studies have faced (e.g., difficulties replicating findings and high false discovery rates). In light of these challenges, this review focuses on describing examples in which we might begin to understand G×Es on the molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral level and link this interaction to altered risk for the development of psychiatric disorders...
September 30, 2016: Annual Review of Psychology
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