Marbling score (MS) is the major quantitative trait that affects carcass quality in beef cattle. In this study, we examined the association between genetic polymorphisms of the micromolar calcium-activated neutral protease gene (micro-calpain, CAPN1) and carcass traits in Korean cattle (also known as Hanwoo).
By direct DNA sequencing in 24 unrelated Korean cattle, we identified 39 sequence variants within exons and their flanking regions in CAPN1. Among them, 12 common polymorphic sites were selected for genotyping in the beef cattle (n = 421). Statistical analysis revealed that a polymorphism in the 3'UTR (c.2151*479C>T) showed significant association with MS (Pcor. = 0.02).
Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in CAPN1 might be one of the important genetic factors involved in carcass quality in beef cattle, although it could be false positive association.
Cold carcass weight (CW) and longissimus muscle area (EMA) are the major quantitative traits in beef cattle. In this study, we found several polymorphisms of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) gene and examined the association of polymorphisms with carcass traits (CW and EMA) in Korean native cattle (Hanwoo).
By direct DNA sequencing in 24 unrelated Korean cattle, we identified 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms within the 9 kb full gene region, including the 1.5 kb promoter region. Among them, six polymorphic sites were selected for genotyping in our beef cattle (n = 428) and five marker haplotypes (frequency > 0.1) were identified. Statistical analysis revealed that -4241A>T showed significant associations with CW and EMA.
Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in GHRH might be one of the important genetic factors that influence carcass yield in beef cattle. Sequence variation/haplotype information identified in this study would provide valuable information for the production of a commercial line of beef cattle.
Nematode sterol-binding protein 1 (NSBP-1) is a homolog of nucleosome assembly protein 1 in mammals that is expressed widely in Caenorhabditis elegans. NSBP-1 mutants are biologically lethal, demonstrating the significance of the gene in growth and development. We investigated how cholesterol influences the insulin signaling pathway through this novel sterol-binding protein in C. elegans. Here we report that NSBP-1 influences many biological processes mediated by insulin signaling, such as longevity, dauer formation, fat storage, and resistance to oxidative stress. We found that NSBP-1 is phosphorylated by AKT-1 downstream of insulin signaling. In the absence of insulin signaling, NSBP-1 is translocated to the nucleus and binds to DAF-16, a FOXO transcription factor, in a cholesterol-dependent manner. Moreover, NSBP-1 and DAF-16 regulate a common set of genes that can directly modulate fat storage, longevity, and resistance to stress. Together, our results present a new steroid-binding molecule that can connect sterol signaling to insulin signaling through direct interaction with FOXO.
Cholesterol; Cholesterol-binding protein; C. elegans; D2096.8; middot; Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; DAF-16
The ubiquitin-like modifier (UBL) domain of ubiquitin-like domain proteins (UDPs) interacts specifically with subunits of the 26 S proteasome. A novel UDP, ubiquitin-like domain-containing C-terminal domain phosphatase (UBLCP1), has been identified as an interacting partner of the 26 S proteasome. We determined the high-resolution solution structure of the UBL domain of human UBLCP1 by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The UBL domain of hUBLCP1 has a unique β-strand (β3) and β3-α2 loop, instead of the canonical β4 observed in other UBL domains. The molecular topology and secondary structures are different from those of known UBL domains including that of fly UBLCP1. Data from backbone dynamics shows that the β3-α2 loop is relatively rigid although it might have intrinsic dynamic profile. The positively charged residues of the β3-α2 loop are involved in interacting with the C-terminal leucine-rich repeat-like domain of Rpn1.
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) is an important commensal microorganism. The purpose of this study was to determine the epidemiological relation between NTS isolates from livestock and NTS isolates from human by analyzing antimicrobial susceptibilities and performing molecular typing. We determined the serotypes of 36 human clinical isolates and 64 livestock isolates, performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing against 8 antibiotics, and determined the molecular types of isolated NTS spp. by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In human isolates, S. enteritidis was the most common serotype (17 isolates; 47.2%) and S. typhimurium the second most (8 isolates; 22.2%). In livestock isolates, S. typhimurium was the most common serotype (15 isolates; 23.44%), and S. enteritidis was the second most (14 isolates; 21.88%). Ampicillin and tetracycline resistance were 50% (32/64 isolates) each among broiler-chicken NTS isolates. No human or livestock NTS isolates showed resistance to ciprofloxacin, TMP-SMX, or ceftriaxone. However, 19.4% (7/36) and 46.8% (30/64) of the human and livestock NTS isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid (MIC ≥16 mg/mL), respectively. The presence of the three identical PFGE molecular types from human and broiler-chicken NTS isolates suggests the possibility of transmission from livestock to humans.
Salmonella Infections; Salmonella Enteritidis; Salmonella Typhimurium; Epidemiology
Disseminated mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) occurs mainly in immunocompromised hosts, which is associated with abnormal cellular immunity.
A 26-year-old pregnant woman presented with fever and general weakness. Miliary lung nodules were noted on chest X-ray. Under the impression of miliary tuberculosis, anti-tuberculosis medication was administered. However, the patient was not improved. Further work-up demonstrated MAC in the sputum and placenta. The patient was treated successfully with clarithromycin-based combination regimen.
This appears to be the first case of disseminated MAC in an otherwise healthy pregnant woman. Clinicians should be alert for the diagnosis of MAC infection in diverse clinical conditions.
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is an ascitic fluid infection as a complication of end stage liver disease. The outcome is related to the severity of hepatorenal function, gastrointestinal bleeding, and many others; however it is not well known whether the infection acquisition sites have an effect on the prognosis of SBP. In order to identify the prognostic significance of the acquisition sites, we studied 106 patients who were diagnosed as culture positive SBP between October 1998 and August 2003. Thirty-two episodes were nosocomial and 74 were community acquired. Gram-negative bacilli such as Escherichia coli were dominant in both of the nosocomial and community-acquired SBPs. Despite significantly higher resistance to cefotaxime in nosocomial isolates compared to community-acquired isolates (77.8% vs. 13.6%, p=0.001), no difference was found regarding short or long term prognosis. Infection acquisition sites were not related to short or long term prognosis either. Shock, gastrointestinal bleeding and renal dysfunction were related to short term prognosis. Only Child-Pugh class C was identified as an independent prognostic factor of long-term survival.
Liver Cirrhosis; Peritonitis; Cross Infection; Community-Acquired Infections
Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of RNA and its complexes is important for understanding the molecular mechanism of RNA recognition by proteins or ligands. Enzymatic synthesis using T7 bacteriophage RNA polymerase is used to prepare samples for NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. However, this run-off transcription method results in heterogeneity at the RNA 3-terminus. For structural studies, RNA purification requires a single nucleotide resolution. Usually PAGE purification is used, but it is tedious, time-consuming and cost ineffective. To overcome these problems in high-throughput RNA synthesis, we devised a method of RNA preparation that uses trans-acting DNAzyme and sequence-specific affinity column chromatography. A tag sequence is added at the 3′ end of RNA, and the tagged RNA is picked out using an affinity column that contains the complementary DNA sequence. The 3′ end tag is then removed by sequence-specific cleavage using trans-acting DNAzyme, the arm lengths of which are optimized for turnover number. This purification method is simpler and faster than the conventional method.
The influenza A virus promoter is recognized by the influenza A virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and directs both transcription and replication of the viral RNA genome. Within the sequence of this promoter, flu strains exhibit a natural, unique variation, either a U or a C, at the fourth position from the 3′ end. Promoters that contain a C residue (C4 promoter), which are invariably found in genome segments that encode the three RNA polymerase subunits (PB1, PB2 and PA), down-regulate transcription but activate genome replication. Here, we have determined the structure of the C4 promoter by NMR spectroscopy and compared it with the structure of the U4 promoter, which was determined previously. The structure of the internal loop in the C4 promoter is similar to that of the U4 promoter. However, the terminal stem of the C4 promoter is strikingly different from that of the U4 promoter. These structural data suggest that the internal loop is important for polymerase binding to the promoter, and the terminal stem is crucial for differential regulation of transcription and replication.
The structure of a 34 nucleotide RNA molecule in solution, which contains the conserved panhandle sequences, was determined by NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. The partially double-strandedpanhandle structure of the influenza virus RNA serves to regulate initiation and termination of viral transcription as well as polyadenylation. The panhandle RNA consists of internal loop flanked by short helices. The nucleotides at or near the internal loop are crucial for polymerase binding and transcriptional activity. They show more flexible conformational character than the Watson-Crick base-paired region, especially for the backbone torsion angles of alpha, gamma and delta. Although residues A10 and A12 are stacked in the helix, the phosphodiester backbones are distorted. Residues A12, A13 and G25 show dynamic sugar conformations and the backbone conformations of these nucleotides are flexible. This backbone conformation and its associated flexibility may be important for protein-RNA interactions as well as base-specific interactions.
The double-stranded panhandle structure of the influenza virus RNA is important for replication, transcription and packaging into the virion of the virion RNA. The solution structure of a 34 nt RNA which contains the conserved panhandle sequences has been investigated by one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. The partially complementary 5'- and 3'-ends of the RNA form a double helical structure which is, on average, close to A-form. The stem contains bulges at nucleotides A10, A12 and C26. In between these bulges, C11 and G25 form a Watson-Crick base pair. The structural features of the panhandle provide a framework for the explanation of mutational analysis and for a better understanding of RNA-polymerase interactions.
PRESENTATION of CASE
A 24-y-old woman was admitted to the emergency department having had a generalized seizure (acute loss of consciousness, convulsive movements of her arms and legs, and confusion on regaining consciousness). She was on the sixth day of treatment with 300 mg daily of slow-release bupropion (Zyban SR) as an aid to smoking cessation. She had a past medical history of tonsillectomy and hay fever, for which she was taking budesonide nasal drops (two drops daily, each drop 200 mcg). She was on no other medication. There was no history of head trauma, liver disease, or alcohol withdrawal. Clinical examination, including neurological examination, was normal. The patient's weight was 48 kg. Her blood pressure was 130/80 mm Hg. Electrocardiogram showed a sinus tachycardia at 102 beats per minute. Radiography of the skull and a computed tomography scan of the brain without contrast were both normal. The patient's blood glucose, urea, electrolytes, and liver function tests were all normal. Her serum calcium was 2.01 mmol/l (normal range, 2.0–2.6 mmol/l) and her hemoglobin was 116 g/l (normal range, 120–140 g/l). The bupropion was discontinued, and the patient recovered without any further seizures or other neurological sequelae.
Bupropion recently came onto the Mauritian market as an aid to smoking cessation. This case report is a useful reminder to clinicians of the risks of taking the drug
Background and Purpose
Cancer patients are at increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. It is unclear whether cancer confers any additional risk for recurrent stroke or cardiovascular mortality after stroke.
This was a single center, observational study of 1,105 consecutive Chinese ischemic stroke patients recruited from a large stroke rehabilitation unit based in Hong Kong. We sought to determine whether patients with cancer are at higher risk of recurrent stroke and cardiovascular mortality.
Amongst 1,105 patients, 58 patients (5.2%) had cancer, of whom 74% were in remission. After a mean follow-up of 76±18 months, 241 patients developed a recurrent stroke: 22 in patients with cancer (38%, annual incidence 13.94%/year), substantially more than those without cancer (21%, 4.65%/year) (p<0.01). In a Cox regression model, cancer, age and atrial fibrillation were the 3 independent predictors of recurrent stroke with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.42 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.54–3.80), 1.01 (1.00–1.03) and 1.35 (1.01–1.82) respectively. Likewise, patients with cancer had a higher cardiovascular mortality compared with those without cancer (4.30%/year vs. 2.35%/year, p = 0.08). In Cox regression analysis, cancer (HR: 2.08, 95% CI: 1.08–4.02), age (HR: 1.04, 95% CI 1.02–1.06), heart failure (HR: 3.06, 95% CI 1.72–5.47) and significant carotid atherosclerosis (HR: 1.55, 95% CI 1.02–2.36) were independent predictors for cardiovascular mortality.
Stroke patients with a past history of cancer are at increased risk of recurrent stroke and cardiovascular mortality.
Quantitative analysis and understanding of signaling networks require measurements of the location and activities of key proteins over time, at the level of single cells, in response to various perturbations. Microfluidic devices enable such analyses to be conducted in a high-throughput and in a highly controlled manner. We describe in detail how to design and use a microfluidic device to perform such information-rich experiments.
Identification of biomarkers that predict responses to hypomethylating agents (HMAs) will allow optimal strategies for epigenetic therapy in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to be established. Serum miR-21 was quantitatively measured in 58 MDS patients treated with HMAs and 14 healthy controls. Serum miR-192 was an internal control, and diagnostic performance was evaluated according to receiver operating characteristics (ROCs). ROC analysis indicated that serum miR-21 levels differentiated responders from non-responders with an area under the curve of 0.648 (95% confidence, 0.49 to 0.72). The baseline level of serum miR-21 was significantly lower in the responder group than in the non-responder group (P = 0.041). The overall response rate (ORR) of the high miR-21 group was significantly lower than that of the low miR-21 group (41.2 vs. 73.2%, P = 0.021). Progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly inferior in the high group versus the low group (14.0 vs. 44.5 months, P = 0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that the initial serum miR-21 level (P = 0.001) and circulating blasts (P = 0.007) were prognostic factors for PFS. Serum miR-21 level was significantly associated with ORR and PFS in MDS patients treated with HMAs. Although validation with a large prospective study is required, serum miR-21 is a potential biomarker of epigenetic therapy in MDS patients.
Immunosuppression is a risk factor for serious infection in humans.
The insect microsporidian Anncaliia algerae was first described in 2004 as a cause of fatal myositis in an immunosuppressed person from Pennsylvania, USA. Two cases were subsequently reported, and we detail 2 additional cases, including the only nonfatal case. We reviewed all 5 case histories with respect to clinical characteristics, diagnosis, and management and summarized organism life cycle and epidemiology. Before infection, all case-patients were using immunosuppressive medications for rheumatoid arthritis or solid-organ transplantation. Four of the 5 case-patients were from Australia. All diagnoses were confirmed by skeletal muscle biopsy; however, peripheral nerves and other tissues may be infected. The surviving patient received albendazole and had a reduction of immunosuppressive medications and measures to prevent complications. Although insects are the natural hosts for A. algerae, human contact with water contaminated by spores may be a mode of transmission. A. algerae has emerged as a cause of myositis, particularly in coastal Australia.
microporidia; insects; myositis; infection; arthritis rheumatoid; solid-organ transplantation; Anncaliia algerae; Australia
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of acute hepatitis A during a recent outbreak in Korea. Data of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis A from 2007 to 2009 were collected from 21 tertiary hospitals retrospectively. Their demographic, clinical, and serological characteristics and their clinical outcomes were analyzed. A total of 4,218 patients (mean age 33.3 yr) were included. The median duration of admission was 9 days. The mean of the highest ALT level was 2,963 IU/L, total bilirubin was 7.3 mg/dL, prothrombin time INR was 1.3. HBsAg was positive in 3.7%, and anti-HCV positive in 0.7%. Renal insufficiency occurred in 2.7%, hepatic failure in 0.9%, relapsing hepatitis in 0.7%, and cholestatic hepatitis in 1.9% of the patients. Nineteen patients (0.45%) died or were transplanted. Complications of renal failure or prolonged cholestasis were more frequent in patients older than 30 yr. In conclusion, most patients with acute hepatitis A recover uneventfully, however, complication rates are higher in patients older than 30 yr than younger patients. Preventive strategies including universal vaccination in infants and active immunization of hepatitis A to adult population should be considered for prevention of community-wide outbreaks of hepatitis A in Korea.
Hepatitis A; Morbidity; Mortality
Dinoponera quadriceps is a predatory giant ant that inhabits the Neotropical region and subdues its prey (insects) with stings that deliver a toxic cocktail of molecules. Human accidents occasionally occur and cause local pain and systemic symptoms. A comprehensive study of the D. quadriceps venom gland transcriptome is required to advance our knowledge about the toxin repertoire of the giant ant venom and to understand the physiopathological basis of Hymenoptera envenomation.
We conducted a transcriptome analysis of a cDNA library from the D. quadriceps venom gland with Sanger sequencing in combination with whole-transcriptome shotgun deep sequencing. From the cDNA library, a total of 420 independent clones were analyzed. Although the proportion of dinoponeratoxin isoform precursors was high, the first giant ant venom inhibitor cysteine-knot (ICK) toxin was found. The deep next generation sequencing yielded a total of 2,514,767 raw reads that were assembled into 18,546 contigs. A BLAST search of the assembled contigs against non-redundant and Swiss-Prot databases showed that 6,463 contigs corresponded to BLASTx hits and indicated an interesting diversity of transcripts related to venom gene expression. The majority of these venom-related sequences code for a major polypeptide core, which comprises venom allergens, lethal-like proteins and esterases, and a minor peptide framework composed of inter-specific structurally conserved cysteine-rich toxins. Both the cDNA library and deep sequencing yielded large proportions of contigs that showed no similarities with known sequences.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of the venom gland transcriptome of the New World giant ant D. quadriceps. The glandular venom system was dissected, and the toxin arsenal was revealed; this process brought to light novel sequences that included an ICK-folded toxins, allergen proteins, esterases (phospholipases and carboxylesterases), and lethal-like toxins. These findings contribute to the understanding of the ecology, behavior and venomics of hymenopterans.
Living cells have evolved sophisticated signaling networks allowing them to respond to a wide array of external stimuli. Microfluidic devices, facilitating the analysis of signaling networks through precise definition of the cellular microenvironment often lack the capacity of delivering multiple combinations of different signaling cues, thus limiting the throughput of the analysis. To address this limitation, we developed a microfabricated platform combining microfluidic definition of the cell medium composition with dielectrophoretic definition of cell positions and protein microarray-based presentation of diverse signaling inputs. Ligands combined at different concentrations were spotted along with an extracellular matrix protein onto a glass substratum in alignment with an electrode array. This substratum was combined with a polydimethylsiloxane chip for microfluidic control of the soluble medium components, in alignment with the electrode and protein arrays. Endothelial cells were captured by dielectrophoretic force, allowed to attach and spread on the protein spots; and the signaling output of the NF-κB pathway in response to diverse combinations of IGF1 and TNF was investigated, in the absence and presence of variable dose of the pathway inhibitor. The results suggested that cells can be potently activated by immobilized TNF, with IGF1 having a modulating effect, the response that could be abolished to different degrees by the inhibitor. This study demonstrates considerable potential of combining precise cell patterning and liquid medium control with protein microarray technology for complex cell signaling studies in a high-throughput manner.
This study aims to identify clinical case definitions of influenza with higher accuracy in patients stratified by age group and influenza activity using hospital-based surveillance system.
In seven tertiary hospitals across South Korea during 2011–2012 influenza season, respiratory specimens were obtained from patients presenting an influenza-like illness (ILI), defined as having fever plus at least one of following symptoms: cough, sore throat or rhinorrhea. Influenza was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. We performed multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify clinical variables with better relation with laboratory-confirmed influenza, and compared the accuracy of combinations.
Over the study period, we enrolled 1417 patients, of which 647 had laboratory-confirmed influenza. Patients with cough, rhinorrhea, sore throat or headache were more likely to have influenza (p<0.05). The most accurate criterion across the study population was the combination of cough, rhinorrhea, sore throat and headache (sensitivity 71.3%, specificity 60.1% and AUROC 0.66). The combination of rhinorrhea, sore throat and sputum during the peak influenza activity period in the young age group showed higher accuracy than that using the whole population (sensitivity 89.3%, specificity 72.1%, and AUROC 0.81).
The accuracy of clinical case definitions of influenza differed across age groups and influenza activity periods. Categorizing the entire population into subgroups would improve the detection of influenza patients in the hospital-based surveillance system.
Molecular noise restricts the ability of an individual cell to resolve input signals of different strengths and gather information about the external environment. Transmitting information through complex signaling networks with redundancies can overcome this limitation. We developed an integrative theoretical and experimental framework, based on the formalism of information theory, to quantitatively predict and measure the amount of information transduced by molecular and cellular networks. Analyzing tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling revealed that individual TNF signaling pathways transduce information sufficient for accurate binary decisions, and an upstream bottleneck limits the information gained via multiple pathways together. Negative feedback to this bottleneck could both alleviate and enhance its limiting effect, despite decreasing noise. Bottlenecks likewise constrain information attained by networks signaling through multiple genes or cells.
Living cells are capable of extracting information from their environments and mounting appropriate responses to a variety of associated challenges. The underlying signal transduction networks enabling this can be quite complex, necessitating for their unraveling by sophisticated computational modeling coupled with precise experimentation. Although we are still at the beginning of this process, some recent examples of integrative analysis of cell signaling are very encouraging. This review highlights the case of the NF-κB pathway in order to illustrate how a quantitative model of a signaling pathway can be gradually constructed through continuous experimental validation, and what lessons one might learn from such exercises.
Many cellular behaviors cannot be completely captured or appropriately described at the cell population level. Noise induced by stochastic chemical reactions, spatially polarized signaling networks and heterogeneous cell-cell communication are among the many phenomena that require fine-grained analysis. Accordingly, the mathematical models used to describe such systems must be capable of single cell or subcellular resolution. Here, we review techniques for modeling single cells, including models of stochastic chemical kinetics, spatially heterogeneous intracellular signaling, and spatial stochastic systems. We also briefly discuss applications of each type of model.
Signaling pathways; Mathematical models; Noise; Pattern formation; Dynamics of signal flow
Oscillatory processes in biological signal transduction have come under progressively increasing scrutiny in terms of their functional significance and mechanisms of emergence and regulation. Since oscillatory processes can be a by-product of rapid adaptation and can also easily emerge if the feedbacks underlying adaptive processes are inadvertently artificially enhanced, one needs to exercise caution in both claiming the existence of in vivo oscillations and in seeking to assign to them a specific functional significance. Nevertheless, oscillations can be a powerful means of encoding and transferring information both in time and in space, thus possessing important potential advantages for evolutionary selection and stabilization. Thus periodicity in the cell responses to diverse persistent external stimuli might become a more recognized and even expected feature of signaling processes.