Contributors: Ming Bai, Rolf Georg Beutel, Klaus-Dieter Klass, Weiwei Zhang, Xingke Yang, Benjamin Wipfler
... A new insect species (†Alienopterus brachyelytrus Bai, Beutel, Klass, Wipfler et Zhang gen. et sp. nov.) of a new order and family is described, based on a single male embedded in Cretaceous Burmese amber (ca. 99Ma). Unusual characters are shortened forewings combined with fully developed, operational hindwings, similar as in Dermaptera, and specialized attachment pads otherwise only found in mantophasmatodeans (heelwalkers). A cladistic analysis suggests a placement as sister to Mantodea, supported by a profemoral brush and other characters. The male genitalia show the same pattern in both groups. Specialized features are the unusual flight apparatus, attachment structures adapted for locomotion on leaves, and a dense profemoral setation suitable for catching small prey. †Alienopterus was apparently able to fly and likely a predator of small arthropods in bushes or trees. An impressive radiation of Mantodea started in similar habitats at least 35Ma later in the early Cenozoic. In contrast, †Alienopterus was an evolutionary dead end in the roach–mantis transition zone.
A multi-scale model of the interplay between cell signalling and hormone transport in specifying the root meristem of Arabidopsis thaliana
Contributors: D. Muraro, A. Larrieu, M. Lucas, J. Chopard, H. Byrne, C. Godin, J. King
... The growth of the root of Arabidopsis thaliana is sustained by the meristem, a region of cell proliferation and differentiation which is located in the root apex and generates cells which move shootwards, expanding rapidly to cause root growth. The balance between cell division and differentiation is maintained via a signalling network, primarily coordinated by the hormones auxin, cytokinin and gibberellin. Since these hormones interact at different levels of spatial organisation, we develop a multi-scale computational model which enables us to study the interplay between these signalling networks and cell-cell communication during the specification of the root meristem. We investigate the responses of our model to hormonal perturbations, validating the results of our simulations against experimental data. Our simulations suggest that one or more additional components are needed to explain the observed expression patterns of a regulator of cytokinin signalling, ARR1, in roots not producing gibberellin. By searching for novel network components, we identify two mutant lines that affect significantly both root length and meristem size, one of which also differentially expresses a central component of the interaction network (SHY2). More generally, our study demonstrates how a multi-scale investigation can provide valuable insight into the spatio-temporal dynamics of signalling networks in biological tissues.
Contributors: Arjen P. Stroeven, Clas Hättestrand, Johan Kleman, Jakob Heyman, Derek Fabel, Ola Fredin, Bradley W. Goodfellow, Jonathan M. Harbor, John D. Jansen, Lars Olsen
... To provide a new reconstruction of the deglaciation of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet, in the form of calendar-year time-slices, which are particularly useful for ice sheet modelling, we have compiled and synthesized published geomorphological data for eskers, ice-marginal formations, lineations, marginal meltwater channels, striae, ice-dammed lakes, and geochronological data from radiocarbon, varve, optically-stimulated luminescence, and cosmogenic nuclide dating. This is summarized as a deglaciation map of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet with isochrons marking every 1000 years between 22 and 13 cal kyr BP and every hundred years between 11.6 and final ice decay after 9.7 cal kyr BP.
Data Article - Data of the molecular dynamics simulations of mutations in the human connexin46 docking interface
Contributors: Patrik Schadzek, Barbara Schlingmann, Frank Schaarschmidt, Julia Lindner, Michael Koval, Alexander Heisterkamp, Anaclet Ngezahayo, Matthias Preller
... The structure of hCx26 derived from the X-ray analysis was used to generate a homology model for hCx46. Interacting connexin molecules were used as starting model for the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation using NAMD and allowed us to predict the dynamic behavior of hCx46wt and the cataract related mutant hCx46N188T as well as two artificial mutants hCx46N188Q and hCx46N188D. Within the 50ns simulation time the docked complex composed of the mutants dissociate while hCx46wt remains stable. The data indicates that one hCx46 molecule forms 5–7 hydrogen bonds (HBs) with the counterpart connexin of the opposing connexon. These HBs appear essential for a stable docking of the connexons as shown by the simulation of an entire gap junction channel and were lost for all the tested mutants.
Contributors: Marc Krüger, Hubert Kalbacher, Panagiotis L. Kastritis, Joachim Bischof, Holger Barth, Doris Henne-Bruns, Constantinos Vorgias, Stefania Sarno, Lorenzo A. Pinna, Uwe Knippschild
... Members of the CK1 family are highly conserved serine/threonine specific kinases being expressed in all eukaryotes. They are involved in many cellular processes and therefore tightly regulated. A central mechanism to modulate CK1 activity is via interaction with cellular proteins. CK1δ interacts with α-/β-tubulin and is involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. Therefore, it is important to identify the structural elements responsible for the interaction between these proteins. Using a peptide library covering the human CK1δ amino acid sequence in SPR and ELISA analyses, we identified peptide 39 (P39), encompassing aa361–aa375 of CK1δ, as a prominent binding partner of α-tubulin. P39 decreases α-tubulin phosphorylation by CK1δ and reduces the thermodynamic stability of α-tubulin in fluorescence thermal shift assays. Furthermore, P39 induces an inhibition of mitotic progression and a disruption of cells entering mitosis in CV-1 cells. Taken together our data provide valuable information regarding the interaction of CK1δ and α-tubulin and a novel approach for the development of pharmacological tools to inhibit proliferation of cancer cells.
Membrane permeability during pressure ulcer formation: A computational model of dynamic competition between cytoskeletal damage and repair
Contributors: N. Suhas Jagannathan, Lisa Tucker-Kellogg
... Pressure ulcers are debilitating wounds that arise frequently in people who have lost mobility. Mechanical stress, oxidative stress and ischemia–reperfusion injury are potential sources of damage during pressure ulcer formation, but cross-talk between these sources has rarely been investigated. In vitro experiments with mechanically-induced cell damage previously demonstrated that non-lethal amounts of static cell deformation could induce myoblast membrane permeabilization. Permeabilization, in turn, has the potential to induce oxidative stress via leakage of calcium, myoglobin or alarmins. In this work, we constructed a hypothetical causal network of cellular-scale effects resulting from deformation and permeabilization, and we investigated the theoretical sensitivity of cell death toward various parameters and pathways of the model. Simulations showed that the survival/death outcome was particularly sensitive to the speed of membrane repair. The outcome was also sensitive to whether oxidative stress could decrease the speed of membrane repair. Finally, using the assumption that apoptosis and necrosis would have opposite effects on membrane leakage in dying cells, we showed that promoting apoptosis might under certain conditions have the paradoxical effect of decreasing, rather than increasing, total cell death. Our work illustrates that apoptosis may have hidden benefits at preventing spatial spread of death. More broadly, our work shows the importance of membrane repair dynamics and highlights the need for experiments to measure the effects of ischemia, apoptosis induction, and other co-occurring sources of cell stress toward the speed of membrane repair.
Contributors: Kai Gao, Yong Zhang, Jizhong Lou
... Enveloped virus, such as HIV-1, employs membrane fusion mechanism to invade into host cell. HIV-1 gp41 ectodomain uses six-helix bundle configuration to accomplish this process. Using molecular dynamic simulations, we confirmed the stability of this six-helix bundle by showing high occupancy of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Key residues and interactions important for the bundle integration were characterized by force-induced unfolding simulations of six-helix bundle, exhibiting the collapse order of these groups of interactions. Moreover, our results in some way concerted with a previous theory that the formation of coiled-coil choose a route which involved cooperative interactions between the N-terminal and C-terminal helix.
Contributors: Cécile Dau, Manfred Fliegauf, Heymut Omran, Martin Schlensog, Edgar Dahl, Claudia R. van Roeyen, Wilhelm Kriz, Marcus J. Moeller, Gerald S. Braun
... Mucociliary clearance requires the distinct orientation and coordinated movement of airway cilia, which is established through planar cell polarity signaling (PCP). The atypical cadherin Dachsous1 (Dchs1) is a transmembrane protein that regulates PCP in D. melanogaster. However, little is known about Dchs1 expression and its potential role in PCP in mammalian adult tissues. Here, we show that Dchs1 is ubiquitously expressed in mouse embryos, but exhibits a highly restricted expression to lung tissues in the adult stage. Strikingly, human Dchs1 localized exclusively to the base of the ciliary apparatus in cultured human respiratory epithelial cells with differentiated motile 9 + 2 cilia. This localization could be functionally important as we observed aberrant DCHS1 mRNA expression in human non-small cell lung cancer tissue. In sum, we establish Dchs1 as a component of the membrane domain surrounding the ciliary base. This suggests a specific role of Dchs1 in PCP-dependent organization of ciliary function and a possible role in lung disease.
Three-dimensional movements of the pelvis and the lumbar intervertebral joints in walking and trotting dogs
Contributors: K. Wachs, M.S. Fischer, N. Schilling
... Current knowledge of the physiological range of motion (ROM) in the canine axial system during locomotion is relatively limited. This is particularly problematic because dogs with back-related dysfunction frequently present for routine consultations. To collect detailed kinematic information and describe the three-dimensional motions of the pelvis and the lumbar spine (i.e. intervertebral joints S1/L7–L2/L1), we recorded ventro-dorsal and latero-lateral X-ray videos of three walking and trotting dogs and reconstructed their pelvic and intervertebral motions using X-ray reconstruction of moving morphology and scientific rotoscoping.
Contributors: Chaolie Huang, Marie-Claire Kratzer, Doris Wedlich, Jubin Kashef
... The cranial neural crest (CNC) is a highly motile and multipotent embryonic cell population, which migrates directionally on defined routes throughout the embryo, contributing to facial structures including cartilage, bone and ganglia. Cadherin-mediated cell–cell adhesion is known to play a crucial role in the directional migration of CNC cells. However, migrating CNC co-express different cadherin subtypes, and their individual roles have yet to be fully explored. In previous studies, the expression of individual cadherin subtypes has been analysed using different methods with varying sensitivities, preventing the direct comparison of expression levels. Here, we provide the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the expression of six cadherin superfamily members during different phases of CNC cell migration in Xenopus. By applying a quantitative RT-qPCR approach, we can determine the copy number and abundance of each expressed cadherin through different phases of CNC migration. Using this approach, we show for the first time expression of E-cadherin and XB/C-cadherin in CNC cells, adding them as two new members of cadherins co-expressed during CNC migration. Cadherin co-expression during CNC migration in Xenopus, in particular the constant expression of E-cadherin, contradicts the classical epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) model postulating a switch in cadherin expression. Loss-of-function experiments further show that E-cadherin is required for proper CNC cell migration in vivo and also for cell protrusion formation in vitro. Knockdown of E-cadherin is not rescued by co-injection of other classical cadherins, pointing to a specific function of E-cadherin in mediating CNC cell migration. Finally, through reconstitution experiments with different E-cadherin deletion mutants in E-cadherin morphant embryos, we demonstrate that the extracellular domain, but not the cytoplasmic domain, of E-cadherin is sufficient to rescue CNC cell migration in vivo.