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Zhenhui Zhang, Yujiao Shi, Sihua Yang, Da Xing
We have developed a second harmonic photoacoustic microscopy (SH-PAM) for subdiffraction-limited imaging based on nonlinear thermal diffusion. When a sine-modulated Gaussian temperature field is introduced by a laser beam, the temperature dependence of the thermal diffusivity induces a nonlinear photoacoustic (PA) effect and thus results in the production of second harmonic PA signals. We demonstrate through both simulation and experiment that the second harmonic PA images can be reconstructed with a lateral resolution exceeding that of conventional optical resolution PA microscopy...
May 15, 2018: Optics Letters
José Luis Ferran, Luis Puelles
Amphioxus is the living chordate closest to the ancestral form of vertebrates, and in a key position to reveal essential aspects of the evolution of the brain Bauplan of vertebrates. The dorsal neural cord of this species at the larval stage is characterized by a small cerebral vesicle at its anterior end and a large posterior region. The latter is comparable in some aspects to the hindbrain and spinal cord regions of vertebrates. The rostral end of the cerebral vesicle contains a median pigment spot and associated rows of photoreceptor and other nerve cells; this complex is known as "the frontal eye...
April 16, 2018: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Jie Yan, Lei Chen, Zhuang Liu, Yonglin Chen, Ying Sun, Jia Han, Lijun Feng
Intelectin is a recently characterized soluble galactofuranose-binding lectin that exists in species ranging from amphioxus to human. Interestingly, intelectin does not contain a canonical carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD). Therefore, we designed serial deletions of intelectin in the Chinese amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtauense, AmphiITLN71469) in order to identify functional regions required for carbohydrate binding. Our results revealed that Domain 5 (aa 203-302) was able to bind lipopolysaccarides (LPS) or peptidoglycan (PGN) and agglutinate bacteria as efficiently as the full-length protein...
April 2, 2018: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Thurston Lacalli
Gene expression studies have recently identified the amphioxus homolog of a domain comprising the combined caudal diencephalon plus midbrain, regions implicated in locomotory control and some forms of primary consciousness in vertebrates. The results of EM-level reconstructions of the larval brain of amphioxus, reviewed here, highlight the importance of inputs to this region for light and physical contact, both of which impinge on the same synaptic zone. The neural circuitry provides a starting point for understanding the organization and evolution of locomotory control and arousal in vertebrates, and implies that one of the tasks of midbrain-based consciousness, as it first emerged in vertebrates, would have been to distinguish between light and physical contact, probably sharp pain in the latter case, by assigning different qualia to each...
March 27, 2018: Consciousness and Cognition
Ping Jin, Caiyun Lv, Shuangli Peng, Lu Cai, Jiu Zhu, Fei Ma
The COMMD (COpper Metabolism gene MURR1 Domain) gene family with ten members participates in various biological processes, such as the regulation of copper and sodium transport, NF-κB activity and cell cycle progression. However, studies on the COMMD gene family in amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri) are yet largely unknown. In this study, we have identified and characterized the ten COMMD family members from amphioxus (designated as AmphiCOMMDs). Firstly, we clone the full length of AmphiCOMMDs, and all AmphiCOMMD proteins contain the conserved COMM domain with two NES (Nuclear Export Signal) motifs...
March 15, 2018: Fish & Shellfish Immunology
Rong Chen, Lijie Zhang, Jianxun Qi, Nianzhi Zhang, Ling Zhang, Shugang Yao, Yanan Wu, Bo Jiang, Zhenbao Wang, Hongyu Yuan, Qiujin Zhang, Chun Xia
The emergence of adaptive immunity in jawed vertebrates depended on the appearance of variable immune receptors, BCRs and TCRs, which exhibit variable-J-constant (VJ -C)-type Ig superfamily folds. Hitherto, however, the structures of IgV-J-IgC-type molecules had never been characterized in invertebrates, leaving the origin of BCR/TCR-type molecules unknown. Using x-ray crystallography, the structure of a VJ -C2 molecule, named AmpIgVJ -C2, was determined in amphioxus ( Branchiostoma floridae ). The first domain shows typical V folding, including the hydrophobic core, CDR analogs, and eight conserved residues...
April 15, 2018: Journal of Immunology: Official Journal of the American Association of Immunologists
Qi-Lin Zhang, Qian-Hua Zhu, Ming-Zhong Liang, Feng Wang, Jun Guo, Xian-Yu Deng, Jun-Yuan Chen, Yu-Jun Wang, Lian-Bing Lin
Amphioxus, a basal chordate, is widely considered to be an existing proxy of the invertebrate ancestor of vertebrates, and it exhibits susceptibility to various pathogen infections and pathogenic mimic challenges. Here, in order to understand more clearly its antibacterial mechanisms, we analyzed the ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-depleted transcriptome of Chinese amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri) infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. p.) via next-generation deep sequencing technology (RNA-seq). We identified a total of 3214 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by comparing V...
May 2018: Fish & Shellfish Immunology
Daichi G Suzuki, Sten Grillner
Lampreys, which represent the oldest group of living vertebrates (cyclostomes), show unique eye development. The lamprey larva has only eyespot-like immature eyes beneath a non-transparent skin, whereas after metamorphosis, the adult has well-developed image-forming camera eyes. To establish a functional visual system, well-organised visual centres as well as motor components (e.g. trunk muscles for locomotion) and interactions between them are needed. Here we review the available knowledge concerning the structure, function and development of the different parts of the lamprey visual system...
February 28, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Takayuki Onai
One of the definitive characteristics of chordates (cephalochordates, vertebrates) is the somites, which are a series of paraxial mesodermal blocks exhibiting segmentation. The presence of somites in the basal chordate amphioxus and in vertebrates, but not in tunicates (the sister group of vertebrates), suggests that the tunicates lost the somites secondarily. Somites are patterned from anterior to posterior during embryogenesis. How such a segmental pattern evolved from deuterostome ancestors is mysterious...
April 2018: Theory in Biosciences, Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften
Thurston Lacalli
The axonal projection from the retina to the optic tectum maps visual information isomorphically from one to the other and serves as a model for the development of sensory maps more generally in the vertebrate brain. How or why this connection evolved is not known, nor why the midbrain is so important to the processing of visual information. Amphioxus is potentially informative here because its eye homolog, the frontal eye, also has a neural connection to a region of the brain now known to be homologous with the caudal diencephalon and midbrain...
2018: EvoDevo
Elisabeth Zieger, Simona Candiani, Greta Garbarino, Jenifer C Croce, Michael Schubert
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The Fig. 7 sub-panel "f" was missing in the figure of the online first proofs of this article. The corrected Fig. 7 is hereby given below.
February 10, 2018: Molecular Neurobiology
Qi-Lin Zhang, Bin Xu, Xiu-Qiang Wang, Ming-Long Yuan, Jun-Yuan Chen
Amphioxus is used to investigate the origin and evolution of vertebrates. To better understand the characteristics of genome evolution from cephalochordates to Osteichthyes, we conducted a genome-wide pairwise comparison of protein-coding genes within amphioxus (a comparable group) and parallel analyses within Osteichthyes (two comparable groups). A batch of fast-evolving genes in each comparable group was identified. Of these genes, the most fast-evolving genes (top 20) were scrutinized, most of which were involved in immune system...
January 2, 2018: Oncotarget
Chrysoula N Pantzartzi, Jiri Pergner, Zbynek Kozmik
Transposable elements (TEs) are able to jump to new locations (transposition) in the genome, usually after replication. They constitute the so-called selfish or junk DNA and take over large proportions of some genomes. Due to their ability to move around they can change the DNA landscape of genomes and are therefore a rich source of innovation in genes and gene regulation. Surge of sequence data in the past years has significantly facilitated large scale comparative studies. Cephalochordates have been regarded as a useful proxy to ancestral chordate condition partially due to the comparatively slow evolutionary rate at morphological and genomic level...
February 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Shigeru Kuratani, Rie Kusakabe, Tatsuya Hirasawa
The migration and distribution patterns of neural crest (NC) cells reflect the distinct embryonic environments of the head and trunk: cephalic NC cells migrate predominantly along the dorsolateral pathway to populate the craniofacial and pharyngeal regions, whereas trunk crest cells migrate along the ventrolateral pathways to form the dorsal root ganglia. These two patterns thus reflect the branchiomeric and somitomeric architecture, respectively, of the vertebrate body plan. The so-called vagal NC occupies a postotic, intermediate level between the head and trunk NC...
February 7, 2018: Developmental Biology
Elisabeth Zieger, Greta Garbarino, Nicolas S M Robert, Jr-Kai Yu, Jenifer C Croce, Simona Candiani, Michael Schubert
The retinoic acid (RA) signaling pathway regulates axial patterning and neurogenesis in the developing central nervous system (CNS) of chordates, but little is known about its roles during peripheral nervous system (PNS) formation and about how these roles might have evolved. This study assesses the requirement of RA signaling for establishing a functional PNS in the cephalochordate amphioxus, the best available stand-in for the ancestral chordate condition. Pharmacological manipulation of RA signaling levels during embryogenesis reduces the ability of amphioxus larvae to respond to sensory stimulation and alters the number and distribution of ectodermal sensory neurons (ESNs) in a stage- and context-dependent manner...
January 31, 2018: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Edward R Ballister, Jessica Rodgers, Franck Martial, Robert J Lucas
BACKGROUND: Animal opsins are light-sensitive G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that enable optogenetic control over the major heterotrimeric G-protein signaling pathways in animal cells. As such, opsins have potential applications in both biomedical research and therapy. Selecting the opsin with the best balance of activity and selectivity for a given application requires knowing their ability to couple to a full range of relevant Gα subunits. We present the GsX assay, a set of tools based on chimeric Gs subunits that transduce coupling of opsins to diverse G proteins into increases in cAMP levels,  measured with a real-time reporter in living cells...
January 16, 2018: BMC Biology
Vladimir M Subbotin
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) disseminates systemically, but metastases occur in distant organs only in minority of patients, whereas HCC routinely metastasizes to liver and its vessels. HCC cells disseminate via hepatic veins, but portal veins are affected by metastasis more frequently than are hepatic veins, and correlates with poor prognosis. In this review, I suggest that privileged HCC portal metastasis occurs because of high levels of pancreatic family hormones and growth factors (PHGFs) in the portal blood...
March 2018: Drug Discovery Today
Qi-Lin Zhang, Zheng-Qing Xie, Ming-Zhong Liang, Bang Luo, Xiu-Qiang Wang, Jun-Yuan Chen
The gene expression associated with immune response to bacteria/bacterial mimic has been extensively analyzed in amphioxus, but remains largely unknown about how gene are involved in the immune response to viral invasion at expression level. Here, we analyze the rRNA-depleted transcriptomes of Branchiostoma belcheri using strand-specific RNA-seq in response to the viral mimic, poly (I:C) (pIC). A total of 5,317 differentially expressed genes were detected at treatment group by comparing with control. The gene with the most significant expression changes (top 15) after pIC challenge and 7 immune-related categories involving 58 differently expressed genes were scrutinized...
December 12, 2017: Oncotarget
Myles G Garstang, David E K Ferrier
Retrogenes are formed when an mRNA is reverse-transcribed and reinserted into the genome in a location unrelated to the original locus. If this retrocopy inserts into a transcriptionally favourable locus and is able to carry out its original function, it can, in rare cases, lead to retrogene replacement. This involves the original, often multi-exonic, parental copy being lost whilst the newer single-exon retrogene copy 'replaces' the role of the ancestral parent gene. One example of this is amphioxus SYCP1, a gene that encodes a protein used in synaptonemal complex formation during meiosis and which offers the opportunity to examine how a retrogene evolves after the retrogene replacement event...
January 2018: Development Genes and Evolution
Vladimir Soukup, Zbynek Kozmik
Establishment of asymmetry along the left-right (LR) body axis in vertebrates requires interplay between Nodal and Bmp signaling pathways. In the basal chordate amphioxus, the left-sided activity of the Nodal signaling has been attributed to the asymmetric morphogenesis of paraxial structures and pharyngeal organs, however the role of Bmp signaling in LR asymmetry establishment has not been addressed to date. Here, we show that Bmp signaling is necessary for the development of LR asymmetric morphogenesis of amphioxus larvae through regulation of Nodal signaling...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Biology
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