The authors previously considered a method of solving optimization problems by using a system of interconnected network of two component Bose-Einstein condensates (Byrnes, Yan, Yamamoto New J. Phys. 13, 113025 (2011)). The use of bosonic particles gives a reduced time proportional to the number of bosons N for solving Ising model Hamiltonians by taking advantage of enhanced bosonic cooling rates. Here we consider the same system in terms of neural networks. We find that up to the accelerated cooling of the bosons the previously proposed system is equivalent to a stochastic continuous Hopfield network. This makes it clear that the BEC network is a physical realization of a simulated annealing algorithm, with an additional speedup due to bosonic enhancement. We discuss the BEC network in terms of neural network tasks such as learning and pattern recognition and find that the latter process may be accelerated by a factor of N.
Nilaparvata lugens (the brown planthopper, BPH) and Laodelphax striatellus (the small brown planthopper, SBPH) are two of the most important pests of rice. Up to now, there was only one mitochondrial genome of rice planthopper has been sequenced and very few dependable information of mitochondria could be used for research on population genetics, phylogeographics and phylogenetic evolution of these pests. To get more valuable information from the mitochondria, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of BPH and SBPH. These two planthoppers were infected with two different functional Wolbachia (intracellular endosymbiont) strains (wLug and wStri). Since both mitochondria and Wolbachia are transmitted by cytoplasmic inheritance and it was difficult to separate them when purified the Wolbachia particles, concomitantly sequencing the genome of Wolbachia using next generation sequencing method, we also got nearly complete mitochondrial genome sequences of these two rice planthoppers. After gap closing, we present high quality and reliable complete mitochondrial genomes of these two planthoppers.
The mitogenomes of N. lugens (BPH) and L. striatellus (SBPH) are 17, 619 bp and 16, 431 bp long with A + T contents of 76.95% and 77.17%, respectively. Both species have typical circular mitochondrial genomes that encode the complete set of 37 genes which are usually found in metazoans. However, the BPH mitogenome also possesses two additional copies of the trnC gene. In both mitochondrial genomes, the lengths of the atp8 gene were conspicuously shorter than that of all other known insect mitochondrial genomes (99 bp for BPH, 102 bp for SBPH). That two rearrangement regions (trnC-trnW and nad6-trnP-trnT) of mitochondrial genomes differing from other known insect were found in these two distantly related planthoppers revealed that the gene order of mitochondria might be conservative in Delphacidae. The large non-coding fragment (the A+T-rich region) putatively corresponding responsible for the control of replication and transcription of mitochondria contained a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) block in different natural individuals of these two planthoppers. Comparison with a previously sequenced individual of SBPH revealed that the mitochondrial genetic variation within a species exists not only in the sequence and secondary structure of genes, but also in the gene order (the different location of trnH gene).
The mitochondrial genome arrangement pattern found in planthoppers was involved in rearrangements of both tRNA genes and protein-coding genes (PCGs). Different species from different genera of Delphacidae possessing the same mitochondrial gene rearrangement suggests that gene rearrangements of mitochondrial genome probably occurred before the differentiation of this family. After comparatively analyzing the gene order of different species of Hemiptera, we propose that except for some specific taxonomical group (e.g. the whiteflies) the gene order might have diversified in family level of this order. The VNTRs detected in the control region might provide additional genetic markers for studying population genetics, individual difference and phylogeographics of planthoppers.
Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacteria that infect a wide range of arthropods and cause an array of effects on host reproduction, fitness and mating behavior. Although our understanding of the Wolbachia-associated effects on hosts is rapidly expanding, our knowledge of the host factors that mediate Wolbachia dynamics is rudimentary. Here, we explore the interactions between Wolbachia and its host, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch. Our results indicate that Wolbachia induces strong cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), increases host fecundity, but has no effects on the longevity of females and the mating competitiveness of males in T. urticae. Most importantly, host mating pattern was found to affect Wolbachia density dynamics during host aging. Mating of an uninfected mite of either sex with an infected mite attenuates the Wolbachia density in the infected mite. According to the results of Wolbachia localization, this finding may be associated with the tropism of Wolbachia for the reproductive tissue in adult spider mites. Our findings describe a new interaction between Wolbachia and their hosts.
Treating neuropathic pain is a major clinical challenge, and the underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain remain elusive. We hypothesized that neuropathic pain–inducing nerve injury may elicit neuronal alterations that recapitulate events that occur during development. Here, we report that WNT signaling, which is important in developmental processes of the nervous system, plays a critical role in neuropathic pain after sciatic nerve injury and bone cancer in rodents. Nerve injury and bone cancer caused a rapid-onset and long-lasting expression of WNTs, as well as activation of WNT/frizzled/β-catenin signaling in the primary sensory neurons, the spinal dorsal horn neurons, and astrocytes. Spinal blockade of WNT signaling pathways inhibited the production and persistence of neuropathic pain and the accompanying neurochemical alterations without affecting normal pain sensitivity and locomotor activity. WNT signaling activation stimulated production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-18 and TNF-α and regulated the NR2B glutamate receptor and Ca2+-dependent signals through the β-catenin pathway in the spinal cord. These findings indicate a critical mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain and suggest that targeting the WNT signaling pathway may be an effective approach for treating neuropathic pain, including bone cancer pain.
Clara cells are non-ciliated, secretory bronchiolar epithelial cells that serve to detoxify harmful inhaled substances. Clara cells also function as stem/progenitor cells for repair in the bronchioles. Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) is specifically expressed in pulmonary Clara cells and is widely used as a Clara cell marker. In addition CCSP promoter is commonly used to direct gene expression into the lung in transgenic models. The discovery of CCSP immunoreactivity in plasma membranes of airway lining cells prompted us to explore the possibility of enriching Clara cells by flow cytometry. We established a novel and simple method for the isolation of CCSP-expressing cell Clara cells using a combination of mechanical and enzymatic dissociation followed by flow cytometry sorting technology. We showed that ∼25% of dissociated cells from whole lung expressed CCSP. In the resulting preparation, up to 98% of cells expressed CCSP. Notably, we found that several common stem cell markers including CD44, CD133, Sca-1 and Sox2 were expressed in CCSP+ cells. Moreover, CCSP+ cells were able to form spheroid colonies in vitro with 0.97‰ efficiency. Parallel studies in vivo confirmed that a small population of CCSP−expressing cells in mouse airways also demonstrates stem cell-like properties such as label retention and harboring rare bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs) in terminal bronchioles (TBs). We conclude that CCSP+ cells exhibit a number of stem cell-like features including stem cell marker expression, bronchosphere colony formation and self-renewal ability. Clara cell isolation by flow cytometry sorting is a useful method for investigating the function of primary Clara cells in stem cell research and mouse models.
Modern science of networks has brought significant advances to our understanding of complex systems biology. As a representative model of systems biology, Protein Interaction Networks (PINs) are characterized by a remarkable modular structures, reflecting functional associations between their components. Many methods were proposed to capture cohesive modules so that there is a higher density of edges within modules than those across them. Recent studies reveal that cohesively interacting modules of proteins is not a universal organizing principle in PINs, which has opened up new avenues for revisiting functional modules in PINs. In this paper, functional clusters in PINs are found to be able to form unorthodox structures defined as bi-sparse module. In contrast to the traditional cohesive module, the nodes in the bi-sparse module are sparsely connected internally and densely connected with other bi-sparse or cohesive modules. We present a novel protocol called the BinTree Seeking (BTS) for mining both bi-sparse and cohesive modules in PINs based on Edge Density of Module (EDM) and matrix theory. BTS detects modules by depicting links and nodes rather than nodes alone and its derivation procedure is totally performed on adjacency matrix of networks. The number of modules in a PIN can be automatically determined in the proposed BTS approach. BTS is tested on three real PINs and the results demonstrate that functional modules in PINs are not dominantly cohesive but can be sparse. BTS software and the supporting information are available at: www.csbio.sjtu.edu.cn/bioinf/BTS/.
Human epididymal protease inhibitor (eppin) may be effective as a male contraceptive vaccine. In a number of studies, eppin with an engineered His6-tag has been produced using prokaryotic expression systems. For production of pharmaceutical-grade proteins for human use, however, the His6-tag must be removed. This study describes a method for producing recombinant human eppin without a His6-tag. We constructed plasmid pET28a (+)-His6-tobacco etch virus (TEV)-eppin for expression in Escherichia coli. After purification and refolding, the fusion protein His6-TEV-eppin was digested with TEV protease to remove the His6-tag and was further purified by NTA-Ni2+ affinity chromatography. Using this procedure, 2 mg of eppin without a His6-tag was isolated from 1 l of culture with a purity of >95%. The immunogenicity of the eppin was characterized using male Balb/c mice.
Eppin; immunogenicity; male contraception; recombinant protein preparation; tag-free
Geckos use vocalizations for intraspecific communication, but little is known about the organization of their central auditory system. We therefore used antibodies against the calcium-binding proteins calretinin (CR), parvalbumin (PV), and calbindin-D28k (CB) to characterize the gecko auditory system. We also examined expression of both glutamic acid decarboxlase (GAD) and synaptic vesicle protein (SV2). Western blots showed that these antibodies are specific to gecko brain. All three calcium-binding proteins were expressed in the auditory nerve, and CR immunoreactivity labeled the first-order nuclei and delineated the terminal fields associated with the ascending projections from the first-order auditory nuclei. PV expression characterized the superior olivary nuclei, whereas GAD immunoreactivity characterized many neurons in the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus and some neurons in the torus semicircularis. In the auditory midbrain, the distribution of CR, PV, and CB characterized divisions within the central nucleus of the torus semicircularis. All three calcium-binding proteins were expressed in nucleus medialis of the thalamus. These expression patterns are similar to those described for other vertebrates.
cochlear nucleus; magnocellularis; laminaris; angularis; torus
In the title compound, C33H28N3PS, the P atom has a distorted tetrahedral PNC3 environment, formed by the N atom and three aryl rings. No intermolecular hydrogen-bonding interactions or π–π stacking interactions are present in the crystal structure.
The hydrogen sulfide-releasing sildenafil, ACS6, has been demonstrated to inhibit superoxide formation through donating hydrogen sulfide (H2S). We have found that H2S antagonizes homocysteine-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. The aim of the present study is to explore the protection of ACS6 against homocysteine-triggered cytotoxicity and apoptosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying in PC12 cells.
Cell viability was determined by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Cell apoptosis was observed using the chromatin dye Hoechst 33258 and analyzed by Flow Cytometry after propidium iodide staining. Mitochondrial membrane potential was monitored using the fluorescent dye Rh123. Intracellular reactive oxygen species were determined by oxidative conversion of cell permeable 2',7'-dichlorfluorescein-diacetate to fluorescent 2',7'-dichlorfluorescein. The expression of cleaved caspase-3 and bcl-2 and the accumulation of cytosolic cytochrome c were analyzed by Western blot.
We show that ACS6 protects PC12 cells against cytotoxicity and apoptosis induced by homocysteine and blocks homocysteine-triggered cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation. ACS6 treatment results in not only prevention of homocysteine-caused mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ) loss and reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction but also reversal of Bcl-2 down-expression.
These results indicate that ACS6 protects PC12 cells against homocysteine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis by preservation of mitochondrial function though inhibiting both loss of Δψ and accumulation of ROS as well as modulating the expression of Bcl-2. Our study provides evidence both for a neuroprotective effect of ACS6 and for further evaluation of ACS6 as novel neuroprotectants for Alzheimer's disease associated with homocysteine.
H2S-releasing sildenafil; Apoptosis; Homocysteine; Mitochondrial membrane potential; Reactive oxygen species; Bcl-2
In the title compound, C26H25FN4OS, the thienopyrimidine fused-ring system is close to planar (r.m.s. deviation = 0.066 Å), with a maximum deviation of 0.1243 (17) Å for the N atom adjacent to the carbonyl group. This ring system forms dihedral angles of 67.5 (1) and 88.9 (1) ° with the adjacent six-membered rings. Intermolecular C—H⋯O hydrogen bonding and C—H⋯π interactions help to stabilize the crystal structure.
We report the use of fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) as a photostable fluorescent probe for high resolution saturated excitation (SAX) microscopy. We confirmed that FNDs show a nonlinear fluorescence response under saturated excitation conditions generated by intense excitation light. Using FNDs, we quantified the spatial resolution improvement inherent in SAX microscopy, and experimentally demonstrated the scalability of the spatial resolution of SAX microscopy. The photostability of the FNDs allowed us to perform nanoparticle imaging of a multicolor-stained macrophage cell with a spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit.
(170.1790) Confocal microscopy; (170.2520) Fluorescence microscopy
Transcription intermediary factor 1γ (TIF1γ) was suggested to play a role in erythropoiesis. However, how TIF1γ regulates the development of different blood cell lineages and whether TIF1γ is involved in human hematological malignancies remain to be determined. Here we have shown that TIF1γ was a tumor suppressor in mouse and human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Loss of Tif1g in mouse HSCs favored the expansion of the granulo-monocytic progenitor compartment. Furthermore, Tif1g deletion induced the age-dependent appearance of a cell-autonomous myeloproliferative disorder in mice that recapitulated essential characteristics of human CMML. TIF1γ was almost undetectable in leukemic cells of 35% of CMML patients. This downregulation was related to the hypermethylation of CpG sequences and specific histone modifications in the gene promoter. A demethylating agent restored the normal epigenetic status of the TIF1G promoter in human cells, which correlated with a reestablishment of TIF1γ expression. Together, these results demonstrate that TIF1G is an epigenetically regulated tumor suppressor gene in hematopoietic cells and suggest that changes in TIF1γ expression may be a biomarker of response to demethylating agents in CMML.
The brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), is an important pest of rice. To better understand the migration pattern and population structure of the Chinese populations of N. lugens, we developed and characterized 12 polymorphic microsatellites from the expressed sequence tags database of N. lugens. The occurrence of these simple sequence repeats was assessed in three populations collected from three provinces of China. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 13 with an average of 6.5 alleles per locus. The mean observed heterozygosity of the three populations ranged from 0.051 to 0.772 and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.074 to 0.766. The sequences of the 12 markers were highly variable. The polymorphism information content of the 12 markers was high and ranged from 0.074 to 0.807 (mean = 0.503). Sequencing of microsatellite alleles revealed that the fragment length differences were mainly due to the variation of the repeat motif. Significant genetic differentiation was detected among the three N. lugens populations as the Fst ranged from 0.034 to 0.273. Principle coordinates analysis also revealed significant genetic differentiation between populations of different years. We conclude that these microsatellite markers will be a powerful tools to study the migration routine of the N. lugens.
migration routine; expressed sequences; population genetics
The genetic etiology for many forms of hearing impairment (HI) is very diverse. Non-syndromic HI (NSHI) is one of the most heterogeneous traits known. Autosomal recessive forms of prelingual HI account for ∼75% of hereditary cases. A novel autosomal recessive NSHI locus, DFNB44, was mapped to a 20.9 cM genetic interval on chromosome 7p14.1-q11.22, according to the Marshfield genetic map, in a consanguineous Pakistani family. Multipoint linkage analysis resulted in a maximum LOD score of 5.0 at marker D7S1818. The 3-unit support interval ranged from marker D7S2209 to marker D7S2435, spanning a 30.1 Mb region on the sequence-based physical map.
7p14.1-q11.22; DFNB44; Non-syndromic hearing impairment; Pakistan
With the widespread availability of SNP genotype data, there is great interest in analyzing pedigree haplotype data. Intermarker linkage disequilibrium for micro-satellite markers is usually low due to their physical distance; however, for dense maps of SNP markers, there can be strong linkage disequilibrium between marker loci. Linkage analysis (parametric and nonparametric) and family-based association studies are currently being carried out using dense maps of SNP marker loci. Monte Carlo methods are often used for both linkage and association studies; however, to date there are no programs available which can generate haplotype and/or genotype data consisting of a large number of loci for pedigree structures. SimPed is a program that quickly generates haplotype and/or genotype data for pedigrees of virtually any size and complexity. Marker data either in linkage disequilibrium or equilibrium can be generated for greater than 20,000 diallelic or multiallelic marker loci. Haplotypes and/or genotypes are generated for pedigree structures using specified genetic map distances and haplotype and/or allele frequencies. The simulated data generated by SimPed is useful for a variety of purposes, including evaluating methods that estimate haplotype frequencies for pedigree data, evaluating type I error due to intermarker linkage disequilibrium and estimating empirical p values for linkage and family-based association studies.
Simulation; Pedigree structure; Type I error; Empirical p values
A consanguineous family with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment (NSHI) was ascertained in Pakistan and displayed significant evidence of linkage to 3q13.31-q22.3. The novel locus (DFNB42) segregating in this kindred, maps to a 21.6 cM region according to a genetic map constructed using data from both the deCode and Marshfield genetic maps. This region of homozygosity is flanked by markers D3S1278 and D3S2453. A maximum multipoint LOD score of 3.72 was obtained at marker D3S4523. DFNB42 represents the third autosomal recessive NSHI locus to map to chromosome 3.
3q13.31-q22.3; DFNB42; nonsyndromic hearing impairment; Pakistan
Though many hearing impairment genes have been identified, only a few of these genes have been screened in population studies. For this study, 168 Pakistani families with autosomal recessive hearing impairment not due to mutations in the GJB2 (Cx26) gene underwent a genome scan. Two-point and multipoint parametric linkage analyses were carried out. Twelve families had two-point or multipoint LOD scores of 1.4 or greater within the transmembrane cochlear expressed gene 1 (TMC1) region and were subjected to further screening with direct DNA sequencing. Five novel putatively functional non-synonymous sequence variants, c.830A>G (p.Y277C), c.1114G>A (p.V372M), c.1334G>A (p.R445H), c.2004T>G (p.S668R) and c.2035G>A (p.E679K), were found to segregate within seven families, but were not observed in 234 Pakistani control chromosomes. The variants c.830A>G (p.Y277C), c.1114G>A (p.V372M) and c.1334G>A (p.R445H) occurred at highly conserved regions and were predicted to lie within hydrophobic transmembrane domains, while non-synonymous variants c.2004T>G (p.S668R) and c.2035G>A (p.E679K) occurred in extracellular regions that were not highly conserved. There is evidence that the c.2004T>G (p.S668R) variant may have occurred at a phosphorylation site. One family has the known splice site mutation c.536 -8T>A. The prevalence of non-syndromic hearing impairment due to TMC1 in this Pakistani population is 4.4% (95%CI: 1.9, 8.6%). The TMC1 protein might have an important function in K+ channels of inner hair cells, which would be consistent with the hypothetical structure of protein domains in which sequence variants were identified.
TMC1; autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment; Pakistan; prevalence
Hereditary nonsyndromic deafness (NSD) is extremely heterogeneous. Autosomal recessive (AR) forms account for ~75% of genetic cases. To date, over 40 ARNSD loci have been mapped. A novel locus (DFNB46) for ARNSD was mapped to chromosome 18p11.32-p11.31 in a five-generation Pakistani family. A 10 cM genome-wide scan and fine mapping was carried out using microsatellite markers. A maximum multipoint LOD score of 3.8 was obtained at two markers, D18S481 and D18S1370. The three-unit support interval is flanked by markers D18S59 and D18S391, corresponds to a 17.6 cM region according to the decode genetic map and spans 5.8 Mb on the sequence-based physical map.
18p11.32-p11.31; DFNB19; DFNB46; nonsyndromic deafness; Pakistan
This article describes the identification of a novel locus (DFNB39) responsible for an autosomal recessive form of hearing loss segregating in a Pakistani consanguineous family. The hearing impaired members of this family present with profound prelingual sensorineural hearing impairment and use sign language for communications. Linkage was established to microsatellite markers located on chromosome 7q with a maximum multipoint lod score of 3.8. The region of homozygosity spans a 19 cM region that is bounded by markers D7S3046 and D7S644.
autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment; DFNB39; linkage mapping; Pakistan; 7q11.22—q21.12
Hereditary hearing impairment (HI) displays extensive genetic heterogeneity. Autosomal recessive (AR) forms of prelingual HI account for ~75% of cases with a genetic etiology. A novel AR non-syndromic HI locus (DFNB47) was mapped to chromosome 2p25.1-p24.3, in two distantly related Pakistani kindreds. Genome scan and fine mapping were carried out using microsatellite markers. Multipoint linkage analysis resulted in a maximum LOD score of 4.7 at markers D2S1400 and D2S262. The three-unit support interval was bounded by D2S330 and D2S131. The region of homozygosity was found within the three-unit support interval and flanked by markers D2S2952 and D2S131, which corresponds to 13.2 cM according to the Rutgers combined linkage-physical map. This region contains 5.3 Mb according to the sequence-based physical map. Three candidate genes, KCNF1, ID2 and ATP6V1C2 were sequenced, and were found to be negative for functional sequence variants.
For autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment over 30 loci have been mapped and 19 genes have been identified. DFNB38, a novel locus for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment, was localized in a consanguineous Pakistani kindred to 6q26–q27. The affected family members present with profound prelingual sensorineural hearing impairment and use sign language for communications. Linkage was established to microsatellite markers located on chromosome 6q26–q27 (Multipoint lod score 3.6). The genetic region for DFNB38 spans 10.1 cM according to the Marshfield genetic map and is bounded by markers D6S980 and D6S1719. This genetic region corresponds to 3.4 MB on the sequence-based physical map.
Autosomal recessive hearing impairment; DFNB38; Gene mapping; Pakistan; 6q26–q27
To date, 37 genes have been identified for nonsyndromic hearing impairment (NSHI). Identifying the functional sequence variants within these genes and knowing their population-specific frequencies is of public health value, in particular for genetic screening for NSHI. To determine putatively functional sequence variants in the transmembrane inner ear (TMIE) gene in Pakistani and Jordanian families with autosomal recessive (AR) NSHI, four Jordanian and 168 Pakistani families with ARNSHI that is not due to GJB2 (CX26) were submitted to a genome scan. Two-point and multipoint parametric linkage analyses were performed, and families with logarithmic odds (LOD) scores of 1.0 or greater within the TMIE region underwent further DNA sequencing. The evolutionary conservation and location in predicted protein domains of amino acid residues where sequence variants occurred were studied to elucidate the possible effects of these sequence variants on function. Of seven families that were screened for TMIE, putatively functional sequence variants were found to segregate with hearing impairment in four families but were not seen in not less than 110 ethnically matched control chromosomes. The previously reported c.241C>T (p.R81C) variant was observed in two Pakistani families. Two novel variants, c.92A>G (p.E31G) and the splice site mutation c.212–2A>C, were identified in one Pakistani and one Jordanian family, respectively. The c.92A>G (p.E31G) variant occurred at a residue that is conserved in the mouse and is predicted to be extracellular. Conservation and potential functionality of previously published mutations were also examined. The prevalence of functional TMIE variants in Pakistani families is 1.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3–4.8]. Further studies on the spectrum, prevalence rates, and functional effect of sequence variants in the TMIE gene in other populations should demonstrate the true importance of this gene as a cause of hearing impairment.
Autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment; Jordan; Pakistan; Prevalence; TMIE
Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells constitute a distinct subset of T lymphocytes exhibiting important immune-regulatory functions. Although various steps of their differentiation have been well characterized, the factors controlling their development remain poorly documented. Here, we show that TGF-β controls the differentiation program of iNKT cells. We demonstrate that TGF-β signaling carefully and specifically orchestrates several steps of iNKT cell development. In vivo, this multifaceted role of TGF-β involves the concerted action of different pathways of TGF-β signaling. Whereas the Tif-1γ branch controls lineage expansion, the Smad4 branch maintains the maturation stage that is initially repressed by a Tif-1γ/Smad4-independent branch. Thus, these three different branches of TGF-β signaling function in concert as complementary effectors, allowing TGF-β to fine tune the iNKT cell differentiation program.