901 research outputs found

    \u3cem\u3eArabidopsis\u3c/em\u3e AZI1 Family Proteins Mediate Signal Mobilization for Systemic Defence Priming

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    Priming is a major mechanism behind the immunological \u27memory\u27 observed during two key plant systemic defences: systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and induced systemic resistance (ISR). Lipid-derived azelaic acid (AZA) is a mobile priming signal. Here, we show that the lipid transfer protein (LTP)-like AZI1 and its closest paralog EARLI1 are necessary for SAR, ISR and the systemic movement and uptake of AZA in Arabidopsis. Imaging and fractionation studies indicate that AZI1 and EARLI1 localize to expected places for lipid exchange/movement to occur. These are the ER/plasmodesmata, chloroplast outer envelopes and membrane contact sites between them. Furthermore, these LTP-like proteins form complexes and act at the site of SAR establishment. The plastid targeting of AZI1 and AZI1 paralogs occurs through a mechanism that may enable/facilitate their roles in signal mobilization

    The TGA Transcription Factors from Clade II Negatively Regulate the Salicylic Acid Accumulation in Arabidopsis

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    Salicylic acid (SA) is a hormone that modulates plant defenses by inducing changes in gene expression. The mechanisms that control SA accumulation are essential for understanding the defensive process. TGA transcription factors from clade II in Arabidopsis, which include the proteins TGA2, TGA5, and TGA6, are known to be key positive mediators for the transcription of genes such as PR-1 that are induced by SA application. However, unexpectedly, stress conditions that induce SA accumulation, such as infection with the avirulent pathogen P. syringae DC3000/AvrRPM1 and UV-C irradiation, result in enhanced PR-1 induction in plants lacking the clade II TGAs (tga256 plants). Increased PR-1 induction was accompanied by enhanced isochorismate synthase-dependent SA production as well as the upregulation of several genes involved in the hormone's accumulation. In response to avirulent P. syringae, PR-1 was previously shown to be controlled by both SA-dependent and -independent pathways. Therefore, the enhanced induction of PR-1 (and other defense genes) and accumulation of SA in the tga256 mutant plants is consistent with the clade II TGA factors providing negative feedback regulation of the SA-dependent and/or -independent pathways. Together, our results indicate that the TGA transcription factors from clade II negatively control SA accumulation under stress conditions that induce the hormone production. Our study describes a mechanism involving old actors playing new roles in regulating SA homeostasis under stress

    Salicylic Acid Regulates Arabidopsis

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    A Conserved Cysteine Motif Is Critical for Rice Ceramide Kinase Activity and Function

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    Ceramide kinase (CERK) is a key regulator of cell survival in dicotyledonous plants and animals. Much less is known about the roles of CERK and ceramides in mediating cellular processes in monocot plants. Here, we report the characterization of a ceramide kinase, OsCERK, from rice (Oryza sativa spp. Japonica cv. Nipponbare) and investigate the effects of ceramides on rice cell viability.OsCERK can complement the Arabidopsis CERK mutant acd5. Recombinant OsCERK has ceramide kinase activity with Michaelis-Menten kinetics and optimal activity at 7.0 pH and 40°C. Mg2+ activates OsCERK in a concentration-dependent manner. Importantly, a CXXXCXXC motif, conserved in all ceramide kinases and important for the activity of the human enzyme, is critical for OsCERK enzyme activity and in planta function. In a rice protoplast system, inhibition of CERK leads to cell death and the ratio of added ceramide and ceramide-1-phosphate, CERK's substrate and product, respectively, influences cell survival. Ceramide-induced rice cell death has apoptotic features and is an active process that requires both de novo protein synthesis and phosphorylation, respectively. Finally, mitochondria membrane potential loss previously associated with ceramide-induced cell death in Arabidopsis was also found in rice, but it occurred with different timing.OsCERK is a bona fide ceramide kinase with a functionally and evolutionarily conserved Cys-rich motif that plays an important role in modulating cell fate in plants. The vital function of the conserved motif in both human and rice CERKs suggests that the biochemical mechanism of CERKs is similar in animals and plants. Furthermore, ceramides induce cell death with similar features in monocot and dicot plants

    Machine learning in marine ecology: an overview of techniques and applications

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    Machine learning covers a large set of algorithms that can be trained to identify patterns in data. Thanks to the increase in the amount of data and computing power available, it has become pervasive across scientific disciplines. We first highlight why machine learning is needed in marine ecology. Then we provide a quick primer on machine learning techniques and vocabulary. We built a database of ∼1000 publications that implement such techniques to analyse marine ecology data. For various data types (images, optical spectra, acoustics, omics, geolocations, biogeochemical profiles, and satellite imagery), we present a historical perspective on applications that proved influential, can serve as templates for new work, or represent the diversity of approaches. Then, we illustrate how machine learning can be used to better understand ecological systems, by combining various sources of marine data. Through this coverage of the literature, we demonstrate an increase in the proportion of marine ecology studies that use machine learning, the pervasiveness of images as a data source, the dominance of machine learning for classification-type problems, and a shift towards deep learning for all data types. This overview is meant to guide researchers who wish to apply machine learning methods to their marine datasets.Machine learning in marine ecology: an overview of techniques and applicationspublishedVersio

    Mechanisms of Resistance to Decitabine in the Myelodysplastic Syndrome

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    Purpose: The DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-29-deoxycytidine (DAC) is approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but resistance to DAC develops during treatment and mechanisms of resistance remain unknown. Therefore, we investigated mechanisms of primary and secondary resistance to DAC in MDS. Patients and Methods: We performed Quantitative Real-Time PCR to examine expression of genes related to DAC metabolism prior to therapy in 32 responders and non-responders with MDS as well as 14 patients who achieved a complete remission and subsequently relapsed while on therapy (secondary resistance). We then performed quantitative methylation analyses by bisulfite pyrosequencing of 10 genes as well as Methylated CpG Island Amplification Microarray (MCAM) analysis of global methylation in secondary resistance. Results: Most genes showed no differences by response, but the CDA/DCK ratio was 3 fold higher in non-responders than responders (P,.05), suggesting that this could be a mechanism of primary resistance. There were no significant differences at relapse in DAC metabolism genes, and no DCK mutations were detected. Global methylation measured by the LINE1 assay was lower at relapse than at diagnosis (P,.05). On average, the methylation of 10 genes was lower at relapse (16.1%) compared to diagnosis (18.1%) (P,.05).MCAM analysis showed decreased methylation of an average of 4.5 % (range 0.6%– 9.7%) of the genes at relapse. By contrast, new cytogenetic changes were found in 20 % of patients

    Impact of the HIV-1 env Genetic Context outside HR1–HR2 on Resistance to the Fusion Inhibitor Enfuvirtide and Viral Infectivity in Clinical Isolates

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    Resistance mutations to the HIV-1 fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide emerge mainly within the drug's target region, HR1, and compensatory mutations have been described within HR2. The surrounding envelope (env) genetic context might also contribute to resistance, although to what extent and through which determinants remains elusive. To quantify the direct role of the env context in resistance to enfuvirtide and in viral infectivity, we compared enfuvirtide susceptibility and infectivity of recombinant viral pairs harboring the HR1–HR2 region or the full Env ectodomain of longitudinal env clones from 5 heavily treated patients failing enfuvirtide therapy. Prior to enfuvirtide treatment onset, no env carried known resistance mutations and full Env viruses were on average less susceptible than HR1–HR2 recombinants. All escape clones carried at least one of G36D, V38A, N42D and/or N43D/S in HR1, and accordingly, resistance increased 11- to 2800-fold relative to baseline. Resistance of full Env recombinant viruses was similar to resistance of their HR1–HR2 counterpart, indicating that HR1 and HR2 are the main contributors to resistance. Strictly X4 viruses were more resistant than strictly R5 viruses, while dual-tropic Envs featured similar resistance levels irrespective of the coreceptor expressed by the cell line used. Full Env recombinants from all patients gained infectivity under prolonged drug pressure; for HR1–HR2 viruses, infectivity remained steady for 3/5 patients, while for 2/5 patients, gains in infectivity paralleled those of the corresponding full Env recombinants, indicating that the env genetic context accounts mainly for infectivity adjustments. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that quasispecies selection is a step-wise process where selection of enfuvirtide resistance is a dominant factor early during therapy, while increased infectivity is the prominent driver under prolonged therapy

    Upregulation of α7 Nicotinic Receptors by Acetylcholinesterase C-Terminal Peptides

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    BACKGROUND: The alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (alpha7-nAChR) is well known as a potent calcium ionophore that, in the brain, has been implicated in excitotoxicity and hence in the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Previous research implied that the activity of this receptor may be modified by exposure to a peptide fragment derived from the C-terminal region of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This investigation was undertaken to determine if the functional changes observed could be attributed to peptide binding interaction with the alpha7-nAChR, or peptide modulation of receptor expression. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study provides evidence that two peptides derived from the C-terminus of acetylcholinesterase, not only selectively displace specific bungarotoxin binding at the alpha7-nAChR, but also alter receptor binding properties for its familiar ligands, including the alternative endogenous agonist choline. Of more long-term significance, these peptides also induce upregulation of alpha7-nAChR mRNA and protein expression, as well as enhancing receptor trafficking to the plasma membrane. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results reported here demonstrate a hitherto unknown relationship between the alpha7-nAChR and the non-enzymatic functions of acetylcholinesterase, mediated independently by its C-terminal domain. Such an interaction may prove valuable as a pharmacological tool, prompting new approaches for understanding, and combating, the process of neurodegeneration
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