Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 83,873 bioRxiv papers from 361,196 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month
82,029 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
17 downloads biophysics
In this study, we provide a time-dependent (td-) mechanical model, taking advantage of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, quasiharmonic analysis of MD trajectories and td-linear response theories (td-LRT) to describe vibrational energy redistribution within the protein matrix. The theoretical description explains the observed biphasic responses of specific residues in myoglobin to CO-photolysis and photoexcitation on heme. The fast responses are found triggered by impulsive forces and propagated mainly by principal modes <40 cm-1. The predicted fast responses for individual atoms are then used to study signal propagation within protein matrix and signals are found to propagate ∼ 8 times faster across helices (4076 m/s) than within the helices, suggesting the importance of tertiary packing in proteins’ sensitivity to external perturbations. We further develop a method to integrate multiple intramolecular signal pathways and discover frequent “communicators”. These communicators are found evolutionarily conserved including those distant from the heme.
17 downloads biochemistry
Acinetobacter Baumannii, which is mostly contracted in hospital stays, has been developing resistance to all available antibiotics, including the last line of drugs, such as carbapenem. Because of its quick adaptation there is an immediate need to design new antibiotics, possibly antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) to which bacteria do not develop resistance easily. Our threefold goal was to curate the available activity of AMPs on the same strain of A. Baumannii, build a neural network model for predicting their activity and use it to rationally pre-screen for lead generation from the thousands of naturally occurring AMPs. By curating and analyzing the recent activity data from 81 AMPs on ATCC 19606 strain, we develop a quantitative AMP activity prediction model. We selected three other models with comparable performance against a test set with known activities. With the goal of inspiring further studies on AMP drug candidates and their rational shortlisting, we made activity predictions for the entire database of AMPs using all the models. To handle the uncertainty of training with a small data set, highlighted peptides which had consistent results from all models.
17 downloads neuroscience
Recent developments in human neuroimaging make it possible to non-invasively measure neural activity from different cortical layers. This can potentially reveal not only which brain areas are engaged by a task, but also how. Specifically, bottom-up and top-down responses are associated with distinct laminar profiles. Here, we measured lamina-resolved fMRI responses during a visual task designed to induce concurrent bottom-up and top-down modulations via orthogonal manipulations of stimulus contrast and feature-based attention. BOLD responses were modulated by both stimulus contrast (bottom-up) and by engaging feature-based attention (top-down). Crucially, these effects operated at different cortical depths: Bottom-up modulations were strongest in the middle cortical layer, while top-down modulations were strong at all depths, being significantly stronger in deep and superficial layers compared to bottom-up effects. As such, we demonstrate that laminar activity profiles can discriminate between concurrent top-down and bottom-up processing, and are diagnostic of how a brain region is activated.
17 downloads plant biology
Borage is a well-known plant of great importance in human nutrition and health. Expanding knowledge of particular plants that have anti-cancer products is a global concern. There is substantial information regarding the benefits, presence and extraction of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) in different plants around the world, especially in borage seeds. However, there is little information concerning the effects of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the growth and presence of GLA in borage seeds. The objective of this work was to determine the optimal salinity of the nutrient solution for obtaining GLA in soilless cultivation systems. Borage plants were grown in coconut fibre and provided three treatments of nutrient solution of 2.20, 3.35 and 4.50 dS m-1, increasing solution salinity with the standard nutrient solution of concentrated macronutrients as a reference. Vegetative growth, seed production and GLA ratio were measured. The results of vegetative development and GLA production doubled and tripled with the increase in salinity of the nutrient solution, respectively.
17 downloads genetics
Ten microsatellite loci were developed and validated for the endangered cactus species Coleocephalocereus purpureus. The markers were obtained from sequences generated by whole genome shotgun sequencing approaches. A testing group of 36 specimens of the main grouping were genotyped and all described markers presented suitable outcomes to population genetic studies, showing polymorphic status for C. purpureus testing group with clean and reproducible amplification. No evidence for scoring errors, null alleles or linkage disequilibrium was detected. Number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 6 and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.78 to 0.99. These new microsatellite loci are suitable to be used in future diversity and structure population studies of C. purpureus.
17 downloads neuroscience
Coherent percepts emerge from the accurate combination of inputs from the different sensory systems. There is an ongoing debate about the neurophysiological mechanisms of crossmodal interactions in the brain, and it has been proposed that transient synchronization of neurons might be of central importance. Oscillatory activity in lower frequency ranges (< 30 Hz) has been implicated in mediating long-range communication as typically studied in multisensory research. In the current study, we recorded high-density electroencephalograms while human participants were engaged in a visuotactile pattern matching paradigm and analyzed oscillatory power in the theta- (4-7 Hz), alpha- (8-13 Hz) and beta-bands (13-30 Hz). Employing the same physical stimuli, separate tasks of the experiment either required the detection of predefined targets in visual and tactile modalities or the explicit evaluation of crossmodal stimulus congruence. Analysis of the behavioral data showed benefits for congruent visuotactile stimulus combinations. Differences in oscillatory dynamics related to crossmodal congruence within the two tasks were observed in the beta-band for crossmodal target detection, as well as in the theta-band for congruence evaluation. Contrasting ongoing activity preceding visuotactile stimulation between the two tasks revealed differences in the alpha- and beta-bands. Source reconstruction of between-task differences showed prominent involvement of premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, somatosensory association cortex and the supramarginal gyrus. These areas not only exhibited more involvement in the pre-stimulus interval for target detection compared to congruence evaluation, but were also crucially involved in post-stimulus differences related to crossmodal stimulus congruence within the detection task. These results add to the increasing evidence that low frequency oscillations are functionally relevant for integration in distributed brain networks, as demonstrated for crossmodal interactions in visuotactile pattern matching in the current study.
17 downloads genomics
Previous studies revealed widespread transcription initiation and fast turnover of transcription start sites (TSSs) in mammalian genomes. Yet how new TSSs originate and how they evolve over time remain poorly understood. To address these questions, we analyzed ~200,000 human TSSs by integrating evolutionary and functional genomic data, particularly focusing on TSSs that emerged in the primate lineages. We found that intrinsic factors of repetitive sequences and their proximity to established regulatory modules (extrinsic factors) contribute significantly to origin of new TSSs. In early periods, young TSSs experience rapid sequence evolution driven by endogenous mutational mechanisms that reduce the instability of associated repetitive sequences. In later periods, the regulatory functions of young TSSs are gradually modified, and with evolutionary changes subject to temporal (fewer regulatory changes in younger TSSs) and spatial constraints (fewer regulatory changes in more isolated TSSs). These findings advance our understanding of how regulatory innovations arise in the genome throughout evolution and highlight the roles of repetitive sequences in these processes.
17 downloads molecular biology
Tau is a developmentally regulated protein found in axons, whose physiological role is to stabilize and bundle microtubules (MTs). Hyper-phosphorylation of tau is thought to cause its detachment from MTs and subsequent aggregation into pathological fibrils that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Despite its known MT binding role, there is no consensus regarding which tau residues are crucial for tau-MT interactions, where on the MT tau binds, and how binding results in MT stabilization. We have used cryo-EM to visualize the interaction of different tau constructs with MTs at high resolution (3.2-4.8 Å) and used computational approaches to generate atomic models of tau-tubulin interactions. Our work shows that the highly conserved tubulin-binding repeats within tau adopt very similar structures in their interactions with the MT. Each tau repeat binds the MT exterior and adopts an extended structure along the crest of the protofilament (PF), interacting with both α- and β-tubulin, thus stabilizing the interface between tubulin dimers. Our structures agree with and explain previous biochemical data concerning the effect of phosphorylation on MT affinity and lead to a model in which tau repeats bind in tandem along a PF, tethering together tubulin dimers and stabilizing longitudinal polymerization interfaces. These structural findings could establish a basis of future treatments aiming at the selective stabilization of tau-MT interactions.
17 downloads bioinformatics
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Despite aggressive therapy, about one-third of patients with MB still die, and survivors suffer severe long-term side effects due to the treatments. The poor post-treatment outcomes are tightly linked to unpredictable drug resistance. Therefore, before developing robust single drug or drug combination recommendation algorithms, uncovering the underlying protein-protein interaction (PPI) network patterns that accurately explain and predict drug resistances for MB subtypes is essential and important. In this study, we hypothesize that the loop sub-structure within the PPI network can explain and predict drug resistance. Both static and dynamic models are built to evaluate this hypothesis for three MB subtypes. Specifically, a static model is created to first validate that many reported therapeutic targets are located topologically on highly deregulated loop sub-structure and then to characterize the loop for tumors without treatment. Next, with the after-treatment time-series genomics data, a dynamic hidden Markov model (HMM) with newly designed initialization scheme estimates the successful and unsuccessful occurrence probabilities for each given PPI and then re-delineates the loop for post-treatment tumors. Finally, the comparison of loop structures pre- and post- treatment distinguishes effective and ineffective treatment options, demonstrating that the loop sub-structure is capable of interpreting the mechanism of drug resistance. In summary, effective treatments show much stronger inhibition of cell cycle and DNA replication proteins when compared to ineffective treatments after considering the cross talk of multiple pathways (the loop).
17 downloads epidemiology
Improvement of management strategies of epidemics is often hampered by constraints on experiments at large spatiotemporal scales. A promising approach consists of modelling the biological epidemic process and human interventions, which both impact disease spread. However, few methods enable the simultaneous optimisation of the numerous parameters of sophisticated control strategies. To do so, we propose a heuristic approach (i.e., a practical improvement method approximating an optimal solution) based on sequential sensitivity analyses. In addition, we use an economic improvement criterion, based on the net present value, accounting for both the cost of the different control measures and the benefit generated by disease suppression. This work is motivated by sharka (caused by Plum pox virus), a vector-borne disease of prunus trees (especially apricot, peach and plum) whose management in orchards is mainly based on surveillance and tree removal. We identified the key parameters of a spatiotemporal model simulating sharka spread and control, and approximated optimal values for these parameters. The results indicate that the current French management of sharka efficiently controls the disease, but can be economically improved using alternative strategies that are identified and discussed. The general approach should help policymakers to design sustainable and cost-effective strategies for disease management.
17 downloads biophysics
The human serotonin transporter hSERT facilitates the reuptake of its endogenous substrate serotonin from the synaptic cleft into presynaptic neurons after signaling. Reuptake regulates the availability of this neurotransmitter and therefore hSERT plays an important role in balancing human mood conditions. In 2016, the first 3D structures of this membrane transporter were reported in an inhibitor-bound, outward-open conformation. These structures revealed valuable information about interactions of hSERT with antidepressant drugs. Nevertheless, the question remains how serotonin facilitates the specific conformational changes that open and close pathways from the synapse and to the cytoplasm as required for transport. Here, we present a serotonin-bound homology model of hSERT in an outward-occluded state, a key intermediate in the physiological cycle, in which the interactions with the substrate are likely to be optimal. Our approach uses two template structures and includes careful refinement and comprehensive computational validation. According to microsecond-long molecular dynamics simulations, this model exhibits interactions between the gating residues in the extracellular pathway, and these interactions differ from those in an outward-open conformation of hSERT bound to serotonin. Moreover, we predict several features of this state by monitoring the intracellular gating residues, the extent of hydration, and, most importantly, protein-ligand interactions in the central binding site. The results illustrate common and distinct characteristics of these two transporter states and provide a starting point for future investigations of the transport mechanism in hSERT.
17 downloads genetics
The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway is a cellular quality control and post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanism and is essential for viability in most multicellular organisms. A complex of proteins has been identified to be required for NMD function to occur, however the individual contribution of each of these factors to the NMD process is not well understood. Central to the NMD process are two proteins Upf1 (SMG-2) and Upf2 (SMG-3), which are found in all eukaryotes and are absolutely required for NMD in all organisms in which it has been examined. The other known NMD factors, Smg1, Smg5, Smg6, and Smg7 are more variable in their presence in different orders of organisms, and are thought to have a more regulatory role. Here we present the first genetic analysis of the NMD factor Smg5 in Drosophila. Surprisingly, we find that unlike the other analyzed Smg genes in this organism, Smg5 is essential for NMD activity. We found this is due at least in part to a role for Smg5 in the activity of two separable NMD-target decay mechanisms: endonucleolytic cleavage and 5-to-3 exonucleolytic decay. Redundancy between these degradation pathways explains why some Drosophila NMD genes are not required for all NMD-pathway activity. We also found that while the NMD component Smg1 has only a minimal role in Drosophila NMD during normal conditions, it becomes essential when NMD activity is compromised by partial loss of Smg5 function. Our findings suggest that not all NMD complex components are required for NMD function at all times, but instead are utilized in a context dependent manner in vivo.
17 downloads microbiology
Establishing early warning systems for anthrax attacks is crucial in biodefense. Here we present an optical method for rapid screening of Bacillus anthracis spores through the synergistic application of holographic microscopy and deep learning. A deep convolutional neural network is designed to classify holographic images of unlabeled living cells. After training, the network outperforms previous techniques in all accuracy measures, achieving single-spore sensitivity and sub-genus specificity. The unique representation learning capability of deep learning enables direct training from raw images instead of manually extracted features. The method automatically recognizes key biological traits encoded in the images and exploits them as fingerprints. This remarkable learning ability makes the proposed method readily applicable to classifying various single cells in addition to B. anthracis, as demonstrated for the diagnosis of Listeria monocytogenes, without any modification. We believe that our strategy will make holographic microscopy more accessible to medical doctors and biomedical scientists for easy, rapid, and accurate diagnosis of pathogens, and facilitate exciting new applications.
17 downloads animal behavior and cognition
Hygienic behaviour is a social immune response in honey bees shown to help provide resistance to honey bee pests and diseases. A survey of hygienic behaviour and brood diseases was conducted on 649 colonies in eastern Australia to initiate a selective breeding program targeting disease resistance and provide a level of resistance to Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman and V. jacobsoni Oudemans) mites should they become established in Australia. The test population showed a remarkably high baseline level of hygienic behaviour with 17% of colonies meeting or exceeding breeding selection thresholds. Colonies belonging to a breeding program were 5.8 times more likely to be highly hygienic and colonies headed by queens raised from hygienic queen mothers were 2.2 times more likely. Nectar availability (nectar yielding flowering plants within honey bee forage range) influenced hygienic behaviour expression but was not a significant predictor of level of hygienic behaviour. Surprisingly, hygienic behaviour was not a significant predictor of the presence of infection of the honey bee brood disease chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis) and was not influential in predicting severity of chalkbrood the infection in surveyed honey bee colonies. This study, along with reports from commercial beekeepers that chalkbrood infection is on the rise, warrants a deeper exploration of the host-pathogen relationship between Apis mellifera and Ascosphaera apis in Australia.
17 downloads evolutionary biology
In Drosophila pseudoobscura younger chromosomal inversions tend to be found distal to older inversions. By examining phylogenetic series of overlapping inversions for 134 gene arrangements of 13 chromosomes this pattern was extended to five additional Drosophila species. This distinct pattern arose repeatedly and independently in all six species and likely reflects an underlying principle of chromosome evolution. In this study it is illustrated how transmission of distal inversions is always favored in female meiosis when crossing over in homosequential regions of overlapping inversions generates asymmetric dyads. This cytogenetic mechanism for female meiotic drive is described in detail and advanced as an explanation for the distal shift in phylogenetic series of overlapping inversions as well as several better known patterns in the evolution of serially inverted chromosomes.
17 downloads genomics
Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is believed to lack chromatin and histones. Instead, it is coated solely by the transcription factor TFAM, which binds the mtDNA without sequence specificity and packs it into a bacterial-like nucleoid in a dose dependent fashion. We asked whether mtDNA packaging is more regulated than once thought. As a first step to address this question, we analyzed mtDNA DNase-I-seq experiments in 324 different human cell types and found, for the first time, a pattern of 29 Genomic footprinting (DGF) sites throughout the mtDNA shared by ~90% of the tested samples. Low SNP density at the DGF sites, and their conservation in mouse DNase-seq experiments, reflect strong selective constraints. Co-localization of the DGFs with known mtDNA regulatory elements and with recently-discovered transcription pausing sites, suggest a role for such DGFs in mtDNA transcription. Altered mtDNA DGF pattern in IL-3 treated CD+34 cells offer first clue to their physiological importance. Taken together, human mtDNA has a conserved and regulated protein-DNA organization, which is likely involved in regulation of mtDNA gene expression.
17 downloads biophysics
We consider a cell as a filled, elastic shell with active surface tension and non-specific adhesion. With this model, we perform numerical simulations to study the mechanics of cell-cell separation. By varying a deformability number, we show how well-known limits of JKR, DMT, adhesive vesicles with surface tension (BWdG) and thin elastic shells are approached. We locate biological cells on this spectrum by comparing to exising experiments on S180 cells. Using this model, we show that mechanical parameters can be obtained that are consistent with both Dual Pipette Aspiration (DPA) and Micropipette Aspiration: We estimate a cortex elastic modulus of Ec ≈ 15 kPa, a cortex thickness of tc ≈ 0.3 μm and an active tension of γ ≈ 0.4nN/μm. With these parameters, a JKR-like scaling of the separation force is recovered. Finally, the change of contact radius with applied force in a pull-off experiment was investigated. For small forces, a scaling is found that is similar to both BWdG and DMT.
17 downloads epidemiology
Background: Previous studies suggest the burden of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in Ethiopia may be greater in university students relative to the overall population. However, little is known about the transmission dynamics of PTB among students and members of the communities surrounding university campuses in Eastern Ethiopia. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Eastern Ethiopia among culture-confirmed PTB cases from university students (n=36) and community members diagnosed at one of four hospitals (n=152) serving the surrounding area. Drug susceptibility testing (DST) was performed on Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex (MTBC) isolates using BD Bactec MGIT 960 and molecular genotyping was performed using spoligotyping and 24-loci MIRU-VNTR. MTBC strains with Identical genotyping patterns were assigned to molecular clusters as surrogate marker for recent transmission and further contact tracing was initiated among clustered patients. Results: Among all study participants, four MTBC lineages and 11 sub-lineages were identified, with Ethiopia_3 being most common sub-lineage (29.4%) and associated with strain clustering (P= 0.016). We identified 13 (8.1%) strains phylogenetically related to the known Ethiopian sub-lineages with a distinct Spoligotyping patterns and designated as Ethiopia_4. The clustering rate of MTB strains was 52.9% for university students and 66.7% for community members with a Recent Transmission Index (RTI) of 17.6% and 48.4%, respectively. Female gender, urban residence, and new TB cases were significantly associated with strain clustering (p
17 downloads biophysics
We present a statistical-mechanical model for stretched twisted double-helix DNA, where thermal fluctuations are treated explicitly from a Hamiltonian without using any scaling hypotheses. Our model applied to defect-free supercoiled DNA describes coexistence of multiple plectoneme domains in long DNA molecules at physiological salt concentrations (0.1 M Na+) and stretching forces (~1 pN). We find higher (lower) number of domains at lower (higher) ionic strengths and stretching forces, in accord with experimental observations. We use our model to study the effect of an immobile point defect on the DNA contour that allows a localized kink. The degree of the kink is controlled by the defect size, such that a larger defect further reduces the bending energy of the defect-facilitated kinked end loop. We find that a defect can spatially pin a plectoneme domain via nucleation of a kinked end loop, in accord with experiments and simulations. Our model explains previously-reported magnetic tweezer experiments showing two buckling signatures: buckling and 'rebuckling' in supercoiled DNA with a base-unpaired region. Comparing with experiments, we find that under 1 pN force, a kinked end loop nucleated at a base-mismatched site reduces the bending energy by ~ 0.7 kBT per unpaired base. Our model predicts coexistence of three states at the buckling and rebuckling transitions that warrants new experiments.
17 downloads epidemiology
The heritable component to a long and healthy life is likely to involve the actions and interactions of both nuclear and mitochondrial genetic variants. Using computerized genealogical records with accompanying cause of death information from the Utah population, we previously reported cause-specific mortality rate distributions associated with the nuclear genetic component of familial exceptional longevity. Here we identify Utah matrilineages (mitochondrial lineages) in which overall survival is better than expected, and compare cause-specific mortality rates in those matrilineages to cause-specific mortality rates in the general population. We also examine the effects on cause-specific mortality of interactions between the nuclear and mitochondrial components of familial excess longevity (nuclear FEL and mtFEL). Among individuals from the bottom quartile of nuclear FEL, those who were also in the top quartile for mtFEL had lower all-cause, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes mortality rates than those in the bottom quartile of mtFEL. In contrast, among individuals from the top quartile of nuclear FEL, the mortality rates from these diseases were similar for those also in the top quartile of mtFEL vs. those also in the bottom quartile of mtFEL, with the exception of diabetes mortality, which was dramatically suppressed in the high nuclear FEL + high mtFEL group as compared to the high nuclear FEL + low mtFEL group. Moreover, the highest mortality rates from diabetes were found in individuals aged 90 years or older who were members of both the high nuclear FEL and low mtFEL quartiles. These results support the hypothesis that some nuclear genetic variants contributing to long life carry an increased risk of dying from diabetes that is strongly ameliorated by some mitochondrial DNA variants.
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