Saururus chinensis is a core member of Saururaceae, a perianthless (lacking petals or sepals) family. Due to its basal phylogenetic position and unusual floral composition, study of this plant family is important for understanding the origin and evolution of perianthless flowers and petaloid bracts among angiosperm species. To isolate genes involved in S. chinensis flower development, subtracted floral cDNA libraries were constructed by using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) on transcripts isolated from developing inflorescences and seedling leaves. The subtracted cDNA libraries contained a total of 1,141 ESTs and were used to create cDNA microarrays to analyze transcript profiles of developing inflorescence tissues. Subsequently, qRT-PCR analyses of eight MADS-box transcription factors and in situ hybridizations of two B-class MADS-box transcription factors were performed to verify and extend the cDNA microarray results. Finally, putative phylogenetic relationships within the B-class MADS-box gene family were determined using the discovered S. chinensis B-class genes to compare K-domain sequences with B genes from other basal angiosperms. Two hundred seventy-seven of the 1,141 genes were found to be expressed differentially between S. chinensis inflorescence tissues and seedling leaves, 176 of which were grouped into at least one functional category, including transcription (14.75%), energy (12.59%), metabolism (9.12%), protein-related function (8.99%), and cellular transport (5.76%). qRT-PCR and in situ hybridization of selected MADS-box genes supported our microarray data. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that a total of six B-class MADS-box genes were isolated from S. chinensis. The differential regulation of S. chinensis B-class MADS-box transcription factors likely plays a role during the development of subtending bracts and perianthless flowers. This study contributes to our understanding of inflorescence development in Saururus, and represents an initial step toward understanding the formation of petaloid bracts in this species.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is pathologically characterized by excessive accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) fibrils within the brain and activation of astrocytes and microglial cells. In this study, we examined anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloidogenic effects of 2,4-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butenal (HPB242), an anti-inflammatory compound produced by the tyrosine-fructose Maillard reaction.
12-month-old Tg2576 mice were treated with HPB242 (5 mg/kg) for 1 month and then cognitive function was assessed by the Morris water maze test and passive avoidance test. In addition, western blot analysis, Gel electromobility shift assay, immunostaining, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA and enzyme activity assays were used to examine the degree of Aβ deposition in the brains of Tg2576 mice. The Morris water maze task was analyzed using two-way ANOVA with repeated measures. Otherwise were analyzed by one-way ANOVA followed by Dunnett’s post hoc test.
Treatment of HPB242 (5 mg/kg for 1 month) significantly attenuated cognitive impairments in Tg2576 transgenic mice. HPB242 also prevented amyloidogenesis in Tg2576 transgenic mice brains. This can be evidenced by Aβ accumulation, BACE1, APP and C99 expression and β-secretase activity. In addition, HPB242 suppresses the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) as well as activation of astrocytes and microglial cells. Furthermore, activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1/3 (STAT1/3) in the brain was potently inhibited by HPB242.
Thus, these results suggest that HPB242 might be useful to intervene in development or progression of neurodegeneration in AD through its anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloidogenic effects.
Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid-beta; NF-κB; STAT1/3; 2,4-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butenal
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with fragile X premutation carriers. Previous studies have shown that fragile X rCGG repeats are sufficient to cause neurodegeneration and that the rCGG-repeat-binding proteins Pur α and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2/B1 could modulate rCGG-mediated neuronal toxicity. Mobile genetic elements or their remnants populate the genomes, and the activities of these elements are tightly controlled for the fitness of host genomes in different organisms. Here we provide both biochemical and genetic evidence to show that the activation of a specific retrotransposon, gypsy, can modulate rCGG-mediated neurodegeneration in an FXTAS Drosophila model. We find that one of the rCGG-repeat-binding proteins, hnRNP A2/B1, is involved in this process via interaction with heterochromatin protein 1. Knockdown of gypsy RNA by RNAi could suppress the neuronal toxicity caused by rCGG repeats. These data together point to a surprisingly active role for retrotransposition in neurodegeneration.
Estrogen has anti-colorectal cancer effects which are thought to be mediated by mismatch repair gene (MMR) activity. Estrogen receptor (ER) expression is associated with microRNA (miRNA) expression in ER-positive tumors. However, studies of direct link between estrogen (especially estradiol E2), miRNA expression, and MMR in colorectal cancer (CRC) have not been done. In this study, we first evaluated the effects of estradiol (E2) and its antagonist ICI182,780 on the expression of miRNAs (miR-31, miR-155 and miR-135b) using COLO205, SW480 and MCF-7 cell lines, followed by examining the association of tissue miRNA expression and serum E2 levels using samples collected from 18 colorectal cancer patients. E2 inhibited the expressions of miRNAs in COLO205 cells, which could be reversed by E2 antagonist ICI 182.780. The expression of miR-135b was inversely correlated with serum E2 level and ER-β mRNA expression in CRC patients' cancer tissues. There were significant correlations between serum E2 level and expression of ER-β, miR-135b, and MMR in colon cancer tissue. This study suggests that the effects of estrogen on MMR function may be related to regulating miRNA expression via ER-β, which may be the basis for the anti-cancer effect in colorectal cells.
colon neoplasms; DNA mismatch repair; estrogen receptor β; estrogen; microRNAs
The Lymphoid specific tyrosine phosphatase (Lyp) has elicited tremendous research interest due to the high risk of its missense mutation R620W in a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases. While initially characterized as a gain-of-function mutant, R620W was thought to lead to autoimmune diseases through loss-of-function in T cell signaling by a recent study. Here we investigate the biochemical characters and T cell signaling functions of two uncharacterized Lyp variants S201F and R266W, together with a previously characterized Lyp variant R263Q, which had reduced risk in several autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ulcerative colitis (UC) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our kinetic and functional studies of R263Q polymorphism basically reproduced previous findings that it was a loss-of-function mutant. The other variant S201F reduced Lyp phosphatase activity moderately and decreased Lyp function in T cell slightly, while R266W severely impaired phosphatase activity and was a loss-of-function variant in T cell signaling. A combined kinetic and structure analysis suggests that the R266W variant may decrease its phosphatase activity through perturbing either the Q-loop or the WPD loop of Lyp. As both R266W and R263Q significantly change their phosphatase activity and T cell functions, future work could be considered to evaluate these mutants in a broader spectrum of autoimmune diseases.
Epimedii herba is one of the most frequently used herbs in formulas that are prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis in China and its main constituent is Epimedium pubescen flavonoid (EPF). However, it is unclear whether EPF during chronic exposure to cigarette smoke may have a protective influence on the skeleton. The present study investigated the effect of EPF on bone mineral status and bone turnover in a rat model of human relatively high exposure to cigarette smoke.
Fifty male Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: controls, passive smoking groups and passive smoking rats administered EPF at three dosage levels (75, 150 or 300 mg/kg/day) in drinking water for 4 months. A rat model of passive smoking was prepared by breeding male rats in a cigarette-smoking box. Bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD), bone turnover markers, bone histomorphometric parameters and biomechanical properties were examined.
Smoke exposure decreased BMC and BMD, increased bone turnover (inhibited bone formation and stimulated its resorption), affected bone histomorphometry (increased trabecular separation and osteoclast surface per bone surface; decreased trabecular bone volume, trabecular thickness, trabecular number, cortical thickness, bone formation rate and osteoblast surface per bone surface), and reduced mechanical properties. EPF supplementation during cigarette smoke exposure prevented smoke-induced changes in bone mineral status and bone turnover.
The results suggest that EPF can prevent the adverse effects of smoke exposure on bone by stimulating bone formation and inhibiting bone turnover and bone resorption.
Smoking; Epimedium pubescen flavonoid; Bone mineral density; Bone mineral content; Bone turnover; Bone histomorphometry
To determine the influence of the dialysis time before kidney transplantation on postoperative ophthalmic complications.
One hundred and eighty three patients who were given the follow-up after kidney transplantation were selected, including 124 males and 59 females. The dialysis time before kidney transplantation was (2.9±2.1) years. Among them, there were 93 cases having cadaveric renal transplantation and 90 cases having living relative renal transplantation. The conditions of ophthalmic complications in all the patients after kidney transplantation were investigated and the incidence rate on ophthalmic complications having different dialysis time before kidney transplantation was given Chi-square test and Chi-square linear trend test.
Among 183 patients with kidney transplantation, 95 patients (51.9%) had at least one ophthalmic complication and the rest 88 patients (48.1%) had no significant abnormality at the eye region. The most common ophthalmic complications were pinguecula/conjunctival degeneration (31 cases), the following was caligo lentis (24 cases). The main manifestations were grayish white granule and plaque turbidity occurred in posterior capsule at the posterior pole of crystaline lens. The angulus iridocornealis of 5 patients (5.3%) with cataract and glaucoma were all open-angle through the detection by gonioscope. Through visual field examination, there were 2 patients with paracentral scotoma, 2 patients with arcuate scotoma and one case with nasal step.
The experiments verify that the incidence of glaucomawas relates to the dialysis time before kidney transplantation, and the incidence rate might be higher if the dialysis time is longer.
kidney transplantation; hematodialysis; dialysis time; ophthalmic complications
In adult mammalian brains, neurogenesis persists in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles (SVZ) and the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Although evidence suggest that adult neurogenesis in these two regions is subjected to differential regulation, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here we show that the RNA-binding protein FXR2 specifically regulates DG neurogenesis by reducing the stability of Noggin mRNA. FXR2 deficiency leads to increased Noggin expression and subsequently reduced BMP signaling, which results in increased proliferation and altered fate specification of neural stem/progenitor cells in DG. In contrast, Noggin is not regulated by FXR2 in the SVZ, because Noggin expression is restricted to the ependymal cells of the lateral ventricles, where FXR2 is not expressed. Differential regulation of SVZ and DG stem cells by FXR2 may be a key component of the mechanism that governs the different neurogenic processes in these two adult germinal zones.
DNA methylation dynamics influence brain function and are altered in neurological disorders. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), a DNA base that is derived from 5-methylcytosine, accounts for ~40% of modified cytosine in the brain and has been implicated in DNA methylation–related plasticity. We mapped 5-hmC genome-wide in mouse hippocampus and cerebellum at three different ages, which allowed us to assess its stability and dynamic regulation during postnatal neurodevelopment through adulthood. We found developmentally programmed acquisition of 5-hmC in neuronal cells. Epigenomic localization of 5-hmC–regulated regions revealed stable and dynamically modified loci during neurodevelopment and aging. By profiling 5-hmC in human cerebellum, we found conserved genomic features of 5-hmC. Finally, we found that 5-hmC levels were inversely correlated with methyl-CpG–binding protein 2 dosage, a protein encoded by a gene in which mutations cause Rett syndrome. These data suggest that 5-hmC–mediated epigenetic modification is critical in neurodevelopment and diseases.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a debilitating, unpredictable and often irreversible side effect resulting from chronic treatment with typical antipsychotic agents such as haloperidol. TD is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements primarily of the orofacial region. In order to investigate genetic susceptibility to TD, we used a validated mouse model for a systems genetics analysis geared toward detecting genetic predictors of TD in human patients. Phenotypic data from 27 inbred strains chronically treated with haloperidol and phenotyped for vacuous chewing movements were subject to a comprehensive genomic analysis involving 426,493 SNPs, 4,047 CNVs, brain gene expression, along with gene network and bioinformatic analysis. Our results identified ~50 genes that we expect to have high prior probabilities for association with haloperidol-induced TD, most of which have never been tested for association with human TD. Among our top candidates were genes regulating the development of brain motor control regions (Zic4, Nkx6-1), glutamate receptors (Grin1, Grin2a), and an indirect target of haloperidol (Drd1a) that has not been as well studied as the direct target, Drd2.
pharmacogenetic; adverse drug reaction; QTL; haloperidol; mouse
Fragile X syndrome is caused by the loss of the FMR1 gene product, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). The loss of FMRP leads to altered circadian rhythm behaviors in both mouse and Drosophila; however, the molecular mechanism behind this phenomenon remains elusive. Here we performed a series of gene expression analyses, including of both mRNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs), and identified a number of mRNAs and miRNAs (miRNA-1 and miRNA-281) with circadian rhythm-dependent altered expression in dfmr1 mutant flies. Identification of these RNAs lays the foundation for future investigations of the molecular pathway(s) underlying the altered circadian rhythms associated with loss of dFmr1.
Dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton play a key role in numerous cellular processes. In Drosophila, fusion between a muscle founder cell and a fusion competent myoblast (FCM) is mediated by an invasive, F-actin-enriched podosome-like structure (PLS). Here, we show that the dynamics of the PLS is controlled by Blown fuse (Blow), a cytoplasmic protein required for myoblast fusion but whose molecular function has been elusive. We demonstrate that Blow is an FCM-specific protein that co-localizes with WASP, WIP/Solitary and the actin focus within the PLS. Biochemically, Blow modulates the stability of the WASP-WIP complex by competing with WASP for WIP binding, leading to a rapid exchange of WASP, WIP and G-actin within the PLS, which, in turn, actively invades the adjacent founder cell to promote fusion pore formation. These studies identify a regulatory protein that modulates the actin cytoskeletal dynamics by controlling the stability of the WASP-WIP complex.
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder, has been recognized in older male fragile X premutation carriers and is uncoupled from fragile X syndrome. Using a Drosophila model of FXTAS, we previously showed that transcribed premutation repeats alone are sufficient to cause neurodegeneration. MiRNAs are sequence-specific regulators of post-transcriptional gene expression. To determine the role of miRNAs in rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration, we profiled miRNA expression and identified selective miRNAs, including miR-277, that are altered specifically in Drosophila brains expressing rCGG repeats. We tested their genetic interactions with rCGG repeats and found that miR-277 can modulate rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we identified Drep-2 and Vimar as functional targets of miR-277 that could modulate rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration. Finally, we found that hnRNP A2/B1, an rCGG repeat-binding protein, can directly regulate the expression of miR-277. These results suggest that sequestration of specific rCGG repeat-binding proteins could lead to aberrant expression of selective miRNAs, which may modulate the pathogenesis of FXTAS by post-transcriptionally regulating the expression of specific mRNAs involved in FXTAS.
Fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder, usually affecting males over 50 years of age. FXTAS patients are the carriers of fragile X premutation alleles. Using a FXTAS Drosophila model, we previously demonstrated that fragile X premutation rCGG repeats alone could cause neurodegeneration. Pur α and hnRNP A2/B1 were identified as specific premutation rCGG repeat-binding proteins (RBPs) that could bind and modulate fragile X permutation rCGG-mediated neuronal degeneration. MiRNAs are sequence-specific regulators of post-transcriptional gene expression. Here we show that fragile X premutation rCGG repeats could lead to aberrant expression of selective miRNAs, which may modulate the pathogenesis of FXTAS by post-transcriptionally regulating the expression of specific mRNAs involved in FXTAS.
Deficiency in fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) results in fragile X syndrome (FXS), an inherited form of intellectual disability. Despite extensive research, how FMRP deficiency contributes to the cognitive deficits in FXS is unclear. We have previously shown that Fmrp-null mice exhibit reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Since Fmrp is also enriched in mature neurons, we explored the functional significance of Fmrp expression in neural stem and progenitor cells (aNSCs) and its role in adult neurogenesis. Here we show ablation of Fmrp in aNSCs via inducible gene recombination leads to reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo, as well as significantly impaired hippocampus-dependent learning in mice. Conversely, restoration of Fmrp expression specifically in aNSCs rescues these learning deficits. These data suggest that defective adult neurogenesis may contribute to the learning impairment seen in FXS, and these learning deficits can be rectified by delayed restoration of Fmrp specifically in aNSCs.
Extensive population-based genome-wide association studies have identified an association between the FTO gene and BMI; however, the mechanism of action is still unknown. To determine whether FTO may influence weight regulation through psychological and behavioral factors, seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the FTO gene were genotyped in 1085 individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 677 healthy weight controls from the international Price Foundation Genetic Studies of Eating Disorders. Each SNP was tested in association with eating disorder phenotypes and measures that have previously been associated with eating behavior pathology: trait anxiety, harm-avoidance, novelty seeking, impulsivity, obsessionality, compulsivity, and concern over mistakes. After appropriate correction for multiple comparisons, no significant associations between individual FTO gene SNPs and eating disorder phenotypes or related eating behavior pathology were identified in cases or controls. Thus, this study found no evidence that FTO gene variants associated with weight regulation in the general population are associated with eating disorder phenotypes in AN participants or matched controls.
Nectar robbers are thought rarely to pollinate flowers, especially those with sexual organs hidden within corollas. In this study, we examined whether robbers pollinate flowers of distylous Primula secundiflora. Distylous plants have two floral morphs. Pin flowers have long styles and short stamens, and thrum flowers have short styles and long stamens. Flowers of P. secundiflora were commonly robbed by bumble-bees, and robbing holes were always situated between high and low sexual organs for both floral morphs. We observed that pollen grains of pin flowers were removed while thrum flowers received fresh pollen grains immediately after flowers were robbed. We manipulated flowers so that only nectar robbers could visit them. This resulted in 98 per cent of thrum flowers and 6 per cent of pin flowers setting fruit, and seed number per thrum fruit was also significantly higher than per pin fruit. Our findings suggest that nectar robbers transfer pollen from pin flowers to thrum flowers effectively, and consequently increase male fitness of the pin morph and female fitness of the thrum morph. Such asymmetrical pollen flow caused by nectar robbers may act as an important selective agent in floral fitness and evolution of distyly.
nectar robbing; distyly; reciprocity; robber-like pollinator
Based on InAs/GaAs quantum dots [QDs], a high-power and broadband superluminescent diode [SLD] is achieved by monolithically integrating a conventional SLD with a semiconductor optical amplifier. The two-section QD-SLD device exhibits a high output power above 500 mW with a broad emission spectrum of 86 nm. By properly controlling the current injection in the two sections of the QD-SLD device, the output power of the SLD can be tuned over a wide range from 200 to 500 mW while preserving a broad emission spectrum based on the balance between the ground state emission and the first excited state emission of QDs. The gain process of the two-section QD-SLD with different pumping levels in the two sections is investigated.
quantum dot; superluminescent diode; two-section structure; optical amplification
A final step of neurogenesis is the maturation of young neurons, which is regulated by complex mechanisms and dysregulation of this process is frequently found in neurodevelopmental disorders. MicroRNAs have been implicated in several steps of neuronal maturation including dendritic and axonal growth, spine development, and synaptogenesis. We demonstrate that one brain-enriched microRNA, miR-137, has a significant role in regulating neuronal maturation. Overexpression of miR-137 inhibits dendritic morphogenesis, phenotypic maturation, and spine development both in brain and cultured primary neurons. On the other hand, a reduction in miR-137 had opposite effects. We further show that miR-137 targets the Drosophila Mib1 protein through the conserved target site located in the 3′ untranslated region of Mib1 mRNA. Mib1 is an ubiquitin ligase known to be important for neurodevelopment. We show that exogenously expressed Mib1 could partially rescue the phenotypes associated with miR-137 overexpression. These results demonstrate a novel miRNA-mediated mechanism involving miR-137 and Mib1 that function to regulate neuronal maturation and dendritic morphogenesis during development.
miR-137; microRNA; neural stem cells; adult neurogenesis; dendritic development; neuronal maturation
RNA interference (RNAi) is a well-conserved mechanism that uses small noncoding RNAs to silence gene expression posttranscriptionally. Gene regulation by RNAi is now recognized as one of the major regulatory pathways in eukaryotic cells. Although the main components of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been identified, the molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have only begun to emerge within the last couple of years. Recently, high-throughput reporter assays to monitor the activity of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been developed and used for proof-of-concept pilot screens. Both inhibitors and activators of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been found. Although still in its infancy, a chemical biology approach using high-throughput chemical screens should open up a new avenue for dissecting the RNAi/miRNA pathway, as well as developing novel RNAi- or miRNA-based therapeutic interventions.
Covalent modification of DNA distinguishes cellular identities and is crucial for regulating the pluripotency and differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The recent demonstration that 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) may be further modified to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in ES cells has revealed a novel regulatory paradigm to modulate the epigenetic landscape of pluripotency. To understand the role of 5-hmC in the epigenomic landscape of pluripotent cells, here we profile the genome-wide 5-hmC distribution and correlate it with the genomic profiles of 11 diverse histone modifications and six transcription factors in human ES cells. By integrating genomic 5-hmC signals with maps of histone enrichment, we link particular pluripotency-associated chromatin contexts with 5-hmC. Intriguingly, through additional correlations with defined chromatin signatures at promoter and enhancer subtypes, we show distinct enrichment of 5-hmC at enhancers marked with H3K4me1 and H3K27ac. These results suggest potential role(s) for 5-hmC in the regulation of specific promoters and enhancers. In addition, our results provide a detailed epigenomic map of 5-hmC from which to pursue future functional studies on the diverse regulatory roles associated with 5-hmC.
Recent studies revealed the oxygenase-catalyzed production of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) as a modification to mammalian DNA. 5-hmC is known to play important roles in self-renewal and cell lineage specification in embryonic stem (ES) cells, suggesting a potential role for 5-hmC–mediated epigenetic regulation in modulating the pluripotency of ES cells. To unveil this new regulatory paradigm in human ES cells, here we use a 5-hmC–specific chemical labeling approach to capture 5-hmC and profile its genome-wide distribution in human ES cells. We show that 5-hmC is an important epigenetic modification associated with the pluripotent state that could play role(s) in a subset of promoters and enhancers with defined chromatin signatures in ES cells.
In contrast to 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), which has been studied extensively1–3, little is known about 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), a recently identified epigenetic modification present in substantial amounts in certain mammalian cell types4,5. Here we present a method for determining the genome-wide distribution of 5-hmC. We use the T4 bacteriophage β-glucosyltransferase to transfer an engineered glucose moiety containing an azide group onto the hydroxyl group of 5-hmC. The azide group can be chemically modified with biotin for detection, affinity enrichment and sequencing of 5-hmC–containing DNA fragments in mammalian genomes. Using this method, we demonstrate that 5-hmC is present in human cell lines beyond those previously recognized4. We also find a gene expression level–dependent enrichment of intragenic 5-hmC in mouse cerebellum and an age-dependent acquisition of this modification in specific gene bodies linked to neurodegenerative disorders.
Fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a neurodegenerative disorder seen in Fragile X premutation carriers. Previous studies found that Fragile X rCGG repeats are sufficient to cause neurodegeneration and that the rCGG repeat-binding proteins Pur α and hnRNP A2/B1 can modulate rCGG–mediated neuronal toxicity. To explore the role of Pur α in rCGG–mediated neurodegeneration further, we took a proteomic approach and identified more than 100 proteins that interact with Pur α. Of particular interest is Rm62, the Drosophila ortholog of p68 RNA helicase, which could modulate rCGG–mediated neurodegeneration. Here we show that rCGG repeats decreased the expression of Rm62 posttranscriptionally, leading to the nuclear accumulation of Hsp70 transcript, as well as additional mRNAs involved in stress and immune responses. Together these findings suggest that abnormal nuclear accumulation of these mRNAs, likely as a result of impaired nuclear export, could contribute to FXTAS pathogenesis.
Fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder that usually affects males over 50 years of age, and FXTAS patients are carriers of fragile X premutation alleles. Using a FXTAS Drosophila model, we previously showed that fragile X premutation rCGG repeats alone could cause neurodegeneration. Pur α and hnRNP A2/B1 were identified as specific premutation rCGG repeat-binding proteins (RBPs) that could bind and modulate fragile X premutation rCGG–mediated neuronal degeneration. Here, through systematic proteomic, genetic, and microarray analyses, we show that the nuclear accumulation of select mRNAs caused by fragile X premutation rCGG repeats may contribute to FXTAS pathogenesis, and the mechanism could be via impaired nuclear export due to the decreased levels of Rm62 seen upon fragile X premutation rCGG expression.
An F-actin–enriched protrusion resembling an invasive podosome promotes fusion pore formation between muscle founder cells and fusion-competent myoblasts.
Recent studies in Drosophila have implicated actin cytoskeletal remodeling in myoblast fusion, but the cellular mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. Here we show that actin polymerization occurs in an asymmetric and cell type–specific manner between a muscle founder cell and a fusion-competent myoblast (FCM). In the FCM, a dense F-actin–enriched focus forms at the site of fusion, whereas a thin sheath of F-actin is induced along the apposing founder cell membrane. The FCM-specific actin focus invades the apposing founder cell with multiple finger-like protrusions, leading to the formation of a single-channel macro fusion pore between the two muscle cells. Two actin nucleation–promoting factors of the Arp2/3 complex, WASP and Scar, are required for the formation of the F-actin foci, whereas WASP but not Scar promotes efficient foci invasion. Our studies uncover a novel invasive podosome-like structure (PLS) in a developing tissue and reveal a previously unrecognized function of PLSs in facilitating cell membrane juxtaposition and fusion.
Methyl-CpG binding protein 1 (MBD1) regulates gene expression via a DNA methylation-mediated epigenetic mechanism. We have previously demonstrated that MBD1 deficiency impairs adult neural stem/progenitor cell (aNSC) differentiation and neurogenesis, but the underlying mechanism was unclear. Here we show that MBD1 regulates the expression of several microRNAs in aNSCs, and specifically that miR-184 is directly repressed by MBD1. High levels of miR-184 promoted proliferation but inhibited differentiation of aNSCs, whereas inhibition of miR-184 rescued the phenotypes associated with MBD1 deficiency. We further found that miR-184 regulates the expression of Numblike (Numbl), a known regulator of brain development, by binding to the 3′-UTR of Numbl mRNA and affecting its translation. Expression of exogenous Numbl could rescue the aNSC defects that result from either miR-184 overexpression or MBD1 deficiency. Therefore MBD1, miR-184, and Numbl form a regulatory network that helps control the balance between proliferation and differentiation of aNSCs.
The anatomical basis for the concept of meridians in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has not been resolved. This paper reviews the evidence supporting a relationship between acupuncture points/meridians and fascia. The reviewed evidence supports the view that the human body's fascia network may be the physical substrate represented by the meridians of TCM. Specifically, this hypothesis is supported by anatomical observations of body scan data demonstrating that the fascia network resembles the theoretical meridian system in salient ways, as well as physiological, histological, and clinical observations. This view represents a theoretical basis and means for applying modern biomedical research to examining TCM principles and therapies, and it favors a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment.