Light-induced helix movements in channelrhodopsin-2
- Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a cation-selective light-gated channel from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Nagel G, Szellas T, Huhn W, Kateriya S, Adeishvili N, Berthold P, et al. Channelrhodopsin-2, a directly light-gated cation-selective membrane channel. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003;100:13940-5), which has become a powerful tool in optogenetics. Two-dimensional crystals of the slow photocycling C128T ChR2 mutant were exposed to 473 nm light and rapidly frozen to trap the open state. Projection difference maps at 6Å resolution show the location, extent and direction of light-induced conformational changes in ChR2 during the transition from the closed state to the ion-conducting open state. Difference peaks indicate that transmembrane helices (TMHs) TMH2, TMH6 and TMH7 reorient or rearrange during the photocycle. No major differences were found near TMH3 and TMH4 at the dimer interface. While conformational changes in TMH6 and TMH7 are known from other microbial-type rhodopsins, our results indicate that TMH2 has a key role in light-induced channel opening and closing in ChR2.
The association of late-acting snoRNPs with human pre-ribosomal complexes requires the RNA helicase DDX21
Katherine E. Sloan
Matthias S. Leisegang
Ana S. Ramírez
Nicholas J. Watkins
Markus T. Bohnsack
- Translation fidelity and efficiency require multiple ribosomal (r)RNA modifications that are mostly mediated by small nucleolar (sno)RNPs during ribosome production. Overlapping basepairing of snoRNAs with pre-rRNAs often necessitates sequential and efficient association and dissociation of the snoRNPs, however, how such hierarchy is established has remained unknown so far. Here, we identify several late-acting snoRNAs that bind pre-40S particles in human cells and show that their association and function in pre-40S complexes is regulated by the RNA helicase DDX21. We map DDX21 crosslinking sites on pre-rRNAs and show their overlap with the basepairing sites of the affected snoRNAs. While DDX21 activity is required for recruitment of the late-acting snoRNAs SNORD56 and SNORD68, earlier snoRNAs are not affected by DDX21 depletion. Together, these observations provide an understanding of the timing and ordered hierarchy of snoRNP action in pre-40S maturation and reveal a novel mode of regulation of snoRNP function by an RNA helicase in human cells.
Energy Limits in Second Generation High-pitch Dual Source CT - Comparison in an Upper Abdominal Phantom
Ralf W. Bauer
Josef M. Kerl
Thomas J. Vogl
- OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to find out how much energy is applicable in second-generation dual source high-pitch computed tomography (CT) in imaging of the abdomen.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined an upper abdominal phantom using a Somatom Definition Flash CT-Scanner (Siemens, Forchheim, Germany). The study protocol consisted of a scan-series at 100 kV and 120 kV. In each scan series we started with a pitch of 3.2 and reduced it in steps of 0.2, until a pitch of 1.6 was reached. The current was adjusted to the maximum the scanner could achieve. Energy values, image noise, image quality, and radiation exposure were evaluated.
RESULTS: For a pitch of 3.2 the maximum applicable current was 142 mAs at 120 kV and in 100 kV the maximum applicable current was 114 mAs. For conventional abdominal imaging, current levels of 200 to 260 mAs are generally used. To achieve similar current levels, we had to decrease the pitch to 1.8 at 100 kV - at this pitch we could perform our imaging at 204 mAs. At a pitch of 2.2 in 120 kV we could apply a current of 206 mAs.
CONCLUSION: We conclude our study by stating that if there is a need for a higher current, we have to reduce the pitch. In a high-pitch dual source CT, we always have to remember where our main focus is, so we can adjust the pitch to the energy we need in the area of the body that has to be imaged, to find answers to the clinical question being raised.
In-situ single submicron particle composition analysis of ice residuals from mountain-top mixed-phase clouds in Central Europe
Ludwig P. Schenk
- This paper presents results from the "INUIT-JFJ/CLACE 2013" field campaign at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch in January/February 2013. The chemical composition of ice particle residuals (IPR) in a size diameter range of 200–900 nm was measured in orographic, convective and non-convective clouds with a single particle mass spectrometer (ALABAMA) under ambient conditions characterized by temperatures between −28 and −4 °C and wind speed from 0.1 to 21 km h−1. Additionally, background aerosol particles in cloud free air were investigated. The IPR were sampled from mixed-phase clouds with two inlets which selectively extract small ice crystals in-cloud, namely the Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) and the Ice Selective Inlet (ISI). The IPR as well as the aerosol particles were classified into seven different particle types: (1) black carbon, (2) organic carbon, (3) black carbon internally mixed with organic carbon, (4) minerals, (5) one particle group (termed "BioMinSal") that may contain biological particles, minerals, or salts, (6) industrial metals, and (7) lead containing particles. For any sampled particle population it was determined by means of single particle mass spectrometer how many of the analyzed particles belonged to each of these categories. Accordingly, between 20 and 30% of the IPR and roughly 42% of the background particles contained organic carbon. The measured fractions of minerals in the IPR composition varied from 6 to 33%, while the values for the "BioMinSal" group were between 15 and 29%. Four percent to 31% of the IPR contained organic carbon mixed with black carbon. Both inlets delivered similar results of the chemical composition and of the particle size distribution, although lead was found only in the IPR sampled by the Ice-CVI. The results show that the ice particle residual composition varies substantially between different cloud events, which indicates the influence of different meteorological conditions, such as origin of the air masses, temperature and wind speed.
Genome-wide analysis of rare copy number variations reveals PARK2 as a candidate gene for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Trang T. Nguyen
Maria R. Dauvermann
Franziska A. Degenhardt
Markus M. Nöthen
Heinz Erich Wichmann
Carla Marie Thérèse Tiesler
Stephen V. Faraone
Tobias J. Renner
Benno G. Schimmelmann
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. Genetic loci have not yet been identified by genome-wide association studies. Rare copy number variations (CNVs), such as chromosomal deletions or duplications, have been implicated in ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. To identify rare (frequency ≤1%) CNVs that increase the risk of ADHD, we performed a whole-genome CNV analysis based on 489 young ADHD patients and 1285 adult population-based controls and identified one significantly associated CNV region. In tests for a global burden of large (>500 kb) rare CNVs, we observed a nonsignificant (P=0.271) 1.126-fold enriched rate of subjects carrying at least one such CNV in the group of ADHD cases. Locus-specific tests of association were used to assess if there were more rare CNVs in cases compared with controls. Detected CNVs, which were significantly enriched in the ADHD group, were validated by quantitative (q)PCR. Findings were replicated in an independent sample of 386 young patients with ADHD and 781 young population-based healthy controls. We identified rare CNVs within the parkinson protein 2 gene (PARK2) with a significantly higher prevalence in ADHD patients than in controls (P=2.8 × 10(-4) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In total, the PARK2 locus (chr 6: 162 659 756-162 767 019) harboured three deletions and nine duplications in the ADHD patients and two deletions and two duplications in the controls. By qPCR analysis, we validated 11 of the 12 CNVs in ADHD patients (P=1.2 × 10(-3) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In the replication sample, CNVs at the PARK2 locus were found in four additional ADHD patients and one additional control (P=4.3 × 10(-2)). Our results suggest that copy number variants at the PARK2 locus contribute to the genetic susceptibility of ADHD. Mutations and CNVs in PARK2 are known to be associated with Parkinson disease.
A global data set of the extent of irrigated land from 1900 to 2005
Bridget R. Scanlon
- Irrigation intensifies land use by increasing crop yield but also impacts water resources. It affects water and energy balances and consequently the microclimate in irrigated regions. Therefore, knowledge of the extent of irrigated land is important for hydrological and crop modelling, global change research, and assessments of resource use and management. Information on the historical evolution of irrigated lands is limited. The new global historical irrigation data set (HID) provides estimates of the temporal development of the area equipped for irrigation (AEI) between 1900 and 2005 at 5 arcmin resolution. We collected sub-national irrigation statistics from various sources and found that the global extent of AEI increased from 63 million ha (Mha) in 1900 to 111 Mha in 1950 and 306 Mha in 2005. We developed eight gridded versions of time series of AEI by combining sub-national irrigation statistics with different data sets on the historical extent of cropland and pasture. Different rules were applied to maximize consistency of the gridded products to sub-national irrigation statistics or to historical cropland and pasture data sets. The HID reflects very well the spatial patterns of irrigated land as shown on historical maps for the western United States (around year 1900) and on a global map (around year 1960). Mean aridity on irrigated land increased and mean natural river discharge on irrigated land decreased from 1900 to 1950 whereas aridity decreased and river discharge remained approximately constant from 1950 to 2005. The data set and its documentation are made available in an open-data repository at https://mygeohub.org/publications/8 (doi:10.13019/M20599).
Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particles residuals sampled by three different techniques
- During January/February 2013, at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch a measurement campaign was carried out, which was centered on atmospheric ice-nucleating particles (INP) and ice particle residuals (IPR). Three different techniques for separation of INP and IPR from the non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed phase clouds and allow for the analysis of the residuals. The combination of the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) and the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated INP for analysis.Collected particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine size, chemical composition and mixing state. All INP/IPR-separating techniques had considerable abundances (median 20 – 70 %) of instrumental contamination artifacts (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH+IN-PCVI: steel particles). Also, potential sampling artifacts (e.g., pure soluble material) occurred with a median abundance of < 20 %. While these could be explained as IPR by ice break-up, for INP their IN-ability pathway is less clear. After removal of the contamination artifacts, silicates and Ca-rich particles, carbonaceous material and metal oxides were the major INP/IPR particle types separated by all three techniques. Soot was a minor contributor. Lead was detected in less than 10 % of the particles, of which the majority were internal mixtures with other particle types. Sea-salt and sulfates were identified by all three methods as INP/IPR. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 400 nm geometric diameter. In a few cases, a second super-micron maximum was identified. Soot/carbonaceous material and metal oxides were present mainly in the submicron range. ISI and FINCH yielded silicates and Ca-rich particles mainly with diameters above 1 μm, while the Ice-CVI also separated many submicron IPR. As strictly parallel sampling could not be performed, a part of the discrepancies between the different techniques may result from variations in meteorological conditions and subsequent INP/IPR composition. The observed differences in the particle group abundances as well as in the mixing state of INP/IPR express the need for further studies to better understand the influence of the separating techniques on the INP/IPR chemical
Disentangling the relationship of the Australian marsupial orders using retrotransposon and evolutionary network analyses
Maria A. Nilsson
- The ancestors to the Australian marsupials entered Australia around 60 (54-72) million years ago from Antarctica, and radiated into the four living orders Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, Diprotodontia and Notoryctemorphia. The relationship between the four Australian marsupial orders has been a long-standing question, because different phylogenetic studies were not able to consistently reconstruct the same topology. Initial in silico analysis of the Tasmanian devil genome and experimental screening in the seven marsupial orders revealed 20 informative transposable element insertions for resolving the inter- and intraordinal relationships of Australian and South American orders. However, the retrotransposon insertions support three conflicting topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia and Notoryctemorphia, indicating that the split between the three orders may be best understood as a network. This finding is supported by a phylogenetic re-analysis of nuclear gene sequences, using a consensus network approach that allows depicting hidden phylogenetic conflict, otherwise lost when forcing the data into a bifurcating tree. The consensus network analysis agrees with the transposable element analysis in that all possible topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia in a rooted four-taxon topology are equally well supported. In addition, retrotransposon insertion data supports the South American order Didelphimorphia being the sistergroup to all other living marsupial orders. The four Australian orders originated within three million years at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The rapid divergences left conflicting phylogenetic information in the genome possibly generated by incomplete lineage sorting or introgressive hybridisation, leaving the relationship among Australian marsupial orders unresolvable as a bifurcating process million years later.
Loss of the abundant nuclear non-coding RNA MALAT1 is compatible with life and development
- The metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1, MALAT1, is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that has been discovered as a marker for lung cancer metastasis. It is highly abundant, its expression is strongly regulated in many tumor entities including lung adenocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma as well as physiological processes, and it is associated with many RNA binding proteins and highly conserved throughout evolution. The nuclear transcript MALAT-1 has been functionally associated with gene regulation and alternative splicing and its regulation has been shown to impact proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion.
Here, we have developed a human and a mouse knockout system to study the loss-of-function phenotypes of this important ncRNA. In human tumor cells, MALAT1 expression was abrogated using Zinc Finger Nucleases. Unexpectedly, the quantitative loss of MALAT1 did neither affect proliferation nor cell cycle progression nor nuclear architecture in human lung or liver cancer cells. Moreover, genetic loss of Malat1 in a knockout mouse model did not give rise to any obvious phenotype or histological abnormalities in Malat1-null compared with wild-type animals. Thus, loss of the abundant nuclear long ncRNA MALAT1 is compatible with cell viability and normal development.
Southern high-latitude terrestrial climate change during the Palaeocene–Eocene derived from a marine pollen record (ODP Site 1172, East Tasman Plateau)
Lineth Arias Contreras
Peter K. Bijl
Robert B. O'Hara
J. Ian Raine
- Global warming, changes in the hydrological cycle and enhanced marine primary productivity all have been invoked to have contributed to the occurrence of widespread ocean anoxia during the Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE2; ~ 94 Ma), but disentangling these factors on a regional scale has remained problematic. We generated palynological and organic geochemical records that allow the separation of these forcing factors in a core spanning the OAE2 from Wunstorf, Lower Saxony Basin (LSB; North Gemany), which exhibits cyclic black shale–marl alternations related to the orbital precession cycle.
Despite the widely varying depositional conditions complicating the interpretation of the obtained records, TEX86H indicates that sea-surface temperature (SST) evolution in the LSB during OAE2 resembles that of previously studied sites throughout the proto-North Atlantic. Cooling during the so-called Plenus Cold Event interrupted black shale deposition during the early stages of OAE2. However, TEX86 does not vary significantly across marl–black shale alternations, suggesting that temperature variations did not force the formation of the cyclic black shale horizons. Relative (i.e., with respect to marine palynomorphs) and absolute abundances of pollen and spores are elevated during phases of black shale deposition, indicative of enhanced precipitation and run-off. High abundances of cysts from inferred heterotrophic and euryhaline dinoflagellates supports high run-off, which likely introduced additional nutrients to the epicontinental shelf resulting in elevated marine primary productivity.
We conclude that orbitally-forced enhanced precipitation and run-off, in tandem with elevated marine primary productivity, were critical in cyclic black shale formation on the northwest European epicontinental shelf and potentially for other OAE2 sections in the proto-Atlantic and Western Interior Seaway at similar latitudes as well.