1,520 research outputs found

    Stereociliary Myosin-1c Receptors Are Sensitive to Calcium Chelation and Absent from Cadherin 23 Mutant Mice

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    The identities of some of the constituents of the hair-cell transduction apparatus have been elucidated only recently. The molecular motor myosin-1c (Myo1c) functions in adaptation of the hair-cell response to sustained mechanical stimuli and is therefore an integral part of the transduction complex. Recent data indicate that Myo1c interacts in vitro with two other molecules proposed to be important for transduction: cadherin 23 (Cdh23), a candidate for the stereociliary tip link, and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), which is abundant in the membranes of hair-cell stereocilia. It is not known, however, whether these interactions occur in hair cells. Using an in situ binding assay on saccular hair cells, we demonstrated previously that Myo1c interacts with molecules at stereociliary tips, the site of transduction, through sequences contained within its calmodulin (CaM)-binding neck domain, which can bind up to four CaM molecules. In the current study, we identify the second CaM-binding IQ domain as a region of Myo1c that mediates CaM-sensitive binding to stereociliary tips and to PIP2 immobilized on a solid support. Binding of Myo1c to stereociliary tips of cochlear and vestibular hair cells is disrupted by treatments that break tip links. In addition, Myo1c does not bind to stereocilia from mice whose hair cells lack Cdh23 protein despite the presence of PIP2 in the stereociliary membranes. Collectively, our data suggest that Myo1c and Cdh23 interact at the tips of hair-cell stereocilia and that this interaction is modulated by CaM

    Never Letting a Good Crisis Go to Waste: Canadian Interdiction of Asylum Seekers

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    This article examines two moments of crisis at Canada’s border with the United States: the aftermath of September 11th, 2001 (“9/11”) and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian government leveraged both crises to offshore responsibilities for asylum seekers onto the United States. In the first case, Canada took advantage of U.S. preoccupations with border security shortly after 9/11 to persuade the United States to sign the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (“STCA”)—an agreement that allows Canada to direct back asylum seekers who present themselves at land ports of entry on the Canada-U.S. border. In the second case, Canada used heightened anxieties about international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic to persuade the United States to block irregular border crossings that asylum seekers were increasingly using to circumvent the STCA. After reviewing Canada’s successful use of these moments of crisis to persuade the United States to take on additional responsibilities for asylum seekers for whom Canada would have otherwise been responsible, the article discusses a recent Canadian Federal Court decision that may make all this political maneuvering moot. This decision found that Canada cannot send asylum seekers back to the United States without violating constitutional rights to life, liberty, and security of the person. Given past practice, however, we can expect the Canadian government to continue to pursue avenues to persuade the United States to take on additional responsibility for asylum seekers—and moments of crisis will be important drivers for those efforts

    Mitofusins and OPA1 Mediate Sequential Steps in Mitochondrial Membrane Fusion

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    Mitochondrial fusion requires the coordinated fusion of the outer and inner membranes. Three large GTPases—OPA1 and the mitofusins Mfn1 and Mfn2—are essential for the fusion of mammalian mitochondria. OPA1 is mutated in dominant optic atrophy, a neurodegenerative disease of the optic nerve. In yeast, the OPA1 ortholog Mgm1 is required for inner membrane fusion in vitro; nevertheless, yeast lacking Mgm1 show neither outer nor inner membrane fusion in vivo, because of the tight coupling between these two processes. We find that outer membrane fusion can be readily visualized in OPA1-null mouse cells in vivo, but these events do not progress to inner membrane fusion. Similar defects are found in cells lacking prohibitins, which are required for proper OPA1 processing. In contrast, double Mfn-null cells show neither outer nor inner membrane fusion. Mitochondria in OPA1-null cells often contain multiple matrix compartments bounded together by a single outer membrane, consistent with uncoupling of outer versus inner membrane fusion. In addition, unlike mitofusins and yeast Mgm1, OPA1 is not required on adjacent mitochondria to mediate membrane fusion. These results indicate that mammalian mitofusins and OPA1 mediate distinct sequential fusion steps that are readily uncoupled, in contrast to the situation in yeast

    AFM-assisted fabrication of thiol SAM pattern with alternating quantified surface potential

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    Thiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are widely used in many nano- and bio-technology applications. We report a new approach to create and characterize a thiol SAMs micropattern with alternating charges on a flat gold-coated substrate using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM). We produced SAMs-patterns made of alternating positively charged, negatively charged, and hydrophobic-terminated thiols by an automated AFM-assisted manipulation, or nanografting. We show that these thiol patterns possess only small topographical differences as revealed by AFM, and distinguished differences in surface potential (20-50 mV), revealed by KPFM. The pattern can be helpful in the development of biosensor technologies, specifically for selective binding of biomolecules based on charge and hydrophobicity, and serve as a model for creating surfaces with quantified alternating surface potential distribution

    Microwave-Assisted Esterification of N-Acetyl-L-Phenylalanine Using Modified Mukaiyama's Reagents: A New Approach Involving Ionic Liquids

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    Inspired by the concept of ionic liquids (ILs), this study modified the original Mukaiyama's reagent, 2-chloro-1-methylpyridinium iodide (m.p. 200-dec), from ionic solid into liquids by changing its anion. The esterification of N-acetyl-L-phenylalanine was investigated as a model reaction. The microwave irradiation was more effective in esterifying N-acetyl-L-phenylalanine than the conventional reflux method. The original Mukaiyama's reagent was modified into ILs through manipulating its anion. However, only non-nucleophilic anions (such as EtSO4– and Tf2N–) were favorable since nucleophilic ones (such as CF3COO– and CH3COO–) could exchange with chlorine resulting in non-reactive coupling reagents. Two modified Mukaiyama's compounds (i.e. hydrophilic [2-ClMePy][EtSO4] and hydrophobic [2-ClMePy][Tf2N]) have been identified as the best ILtype coupling reagents. The esterification reaction was greatly enhanced by using 1- methylimidazole as the base instead of conventional toxic tertiary amines, and by using excess amount of alcohols as solvents instead of dichloromethane. Overall, the method reported is effective and ‘greener’

    LPS-Induced Upregulation of SHIP Is Essential for Endotoxin Tolerance

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    AbstractAn initial exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces a transient state of hyporesponsiveness to a subsequent challenge with LPS. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon, termed endotoxin tolerance, remains poorly understood despite a recent resurgence of interest in this area. We demonstrate herein that SHIP−/− bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMmφs) and mast cells (BMMCs) do not display endotoxin tolerance. Moreover, an initial LPS treatment of wild-type BMmφs or BMMCs increases the level of SHIP, but not SHIP2 or PTEN, and this increase is critical for the hyporesponsiveness to subsequent LPS stimulation. Interestingly, this increase in SHIP protein is mediated by the LPS-induced production of autocrine-acting TGFβ and neutralizing antibodies to TGFβ block LPS-induced endotoxin tolerance. In vivo studies with SHIP+/+ and SHIP−/− mice confirm these in vitro findings and show a correlation between the duration of endotoxin tolerance and elevated SHIP levels

    Iron promotes oxidative cell death caused by bisretinoids of retina

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    Intracellular Fe plays a key role in redox active energy and electron transfer. We sought to understand how Fe levels impact the retina, given that retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are also challenged by accumulations of vitamin A aldehyde adducts (bisretinoid lipofuscin) that photogenerate reactive oxygen species and photodecompose into damaging aldehyde- and dicarbonyl-bearing species. In mice treated with the Fe chelator deferiprone (DFP), intracellular Fe levels, as reflected in transferrin receptor mRNA expression, were reduced. DFP-treated albino Abca4−/− and agouti wild-type mice exhibited elevated bisretinoid levels as measured by high-performance liquid chromatography or noninvasively by quantitative fundus autofluorescence. Thinning of the outer nuclear layer, a parameter indicative of the loss of photoreceptor cell viability, was also reduced in DFP-treated albino Abca4−/−. In contrast to the effects of the Fe chelator, mice burdened with increased intracellular Fe in RPE due to deficiency in the Fe export proteins hephaestin and ceruloplasmin, presented with reduced bisretinoid levels. These findings indicate that intracellular Fe promotes bisretinoid oxidation and degradation. This interpretation was supported by experiments showing that DFP decreased the oxidative/degradation of the bisretinoid A2E in the presence of light and reduced cell death in cell-based experiments. Moreover, light-independent oxidation and degradation of A2E by Fenton chemistry products were evidenced by the consumption of A2E, release of dicarbonyls, and generation of oxidized A2E species in cell-free assays

    Unsupervised Detection of Contextualized Embedding Bias with Application to Ideology

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    We propose a fully unsupervised method to detect bias in contextualized embeddings. The method leverages the assortative information latently encoded by social networks and combines orthogonality regularization, structured sparsity learning, and graph neural networks to find the embedding subspace capturing this information. As a concrete example, we focus on the phenomenon of ideological bias: we introduce the concept of an ideological subspace, show how it can be found by applying our method to online discussion forums, and present techniques to probe it. Our experiments suggest that the ideological subspace encodes abstract evaluative semantics and reflects changes in the political left-right spectrum during the presidency of Donald Trump

    Global molecular analyses of methane metabolism in methanotrophic Alphaproteobacterium, Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. Part II. metabolomics and 13C-labeling study

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    In this work we use metabolomics and ^(13)C-labeling data to refine central metabolic pathways for methane utilization in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, a model alphaproteobacterial methanotrophic bacterium. We demonstrate here that similar to non-methane utilizing methylotrophic alphaproteobacteria the core metabolism of the microbe is represented by several tightly connected metabolic cycles, such as the serine pathway, the ethylmalonyl-CoA (EMC) pathway, and the citric acid (TCA) cycle. Both in silico estimations and stable isotope labeling experiments combined with single cell (NanoSIMS) and bulk biomass analyses indicate that a significantly larger portion of the cell carbon (over 60%) is derived from CO_2 in this methanotroph. Our ^(13) C-labeling studies revealed an unusual topology of the assimilatory network in which phosph(enol) pyruvate/pyruvate interconversions are key metabolic switches. A set of additional pathways for carbon fixation are identified and discussed
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