406 research outputs found

    Transport of Anthocyanins and other Flavonoids by the Arabidopsis ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter AtABCC2

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    Flavonoids have important developmental, physiological, and ecological roles in plants and are primarily stored in the large central vacuole. Here we show that both an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter(s) and an H+-antiporter(s) are involved in the uptake of cyanidin 3-O-glucoside (C3G) by Arabidopsis vacuolar membrane-enriched vesicles. We also demonstrate that vesicles isolated from yeast expressing the ABC protein AtABCC2 are capable of MgATP-dependent uptake of C3G and other anthocyanins. The uptake of C3G by AtABCC2 depended on the co-transport of glutathione (GSH). C3G was not altered during transport and a GSH conjugate was not formed. Vesicles from yeast expressing AtABCC2 also transported flavone and flavonol glucosides. We performed ligand docking studies to a homology model of AtABCC2 and probed the putative binding sites of C3G and GSH through site-directed mutagenesis and functional studies. These studies identified residues important for substrate recognition and transport activity in AtABCC2, and suggest that C3G and GSH bind closely, mutually enhancing each other’s binding. In conclusion, we suggest that AtABCC2 along with possibly other ABCC proteins are involved in the vacuolar transport of anthocyanins and other flavonoids in the vegetative tissue of Arabidopsis

    Candida albicans repetitive elements display epigenetic diversity and plasticity

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    Transcriptionally silent heterochromatin is associated with repetitive DNA. It is poorly understood whether and how heterochromatin differs between different organisms and whether its structure can be remodelled in response to environmental signals. Here, we address this question by analysing the chromatin state associated with DNA repeats in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Our analyses indicate that, contrary to model systems, each type of repetitive element is assembled into a distinct chromatin state. Classical Sir2-dependent hypoacetylated and hypomethylated chromatin is associated with the rDNA locus while telomeric regions are assembled into a weak heterochromatin that is only mildly hypoacetylated and hypomethylated. Major Repeat Sequences, a class of tandem repeats, are assembled into an intermediate chromatin state bearing features of both euchromatin and heterochromatin. Marker gene silencing assays and genome-wide RNA sequencing reveals that C. albicans heterochromatin represses expression of repeat-associated coding and non-coding RNAs. We find that telomeric heterochromatin is dynamic and remodelled upon an environmental change. Weak heterochromatin is associated with telomeres at 30?°C, while robust heterochromatin is assembled over these regions at 39?°C, a temperature mimicking moderate fever in the host. Thus in C. albicans, differential chromatin states controls gene expression and epigenetic plasticity is linked to adaptation

    Lignin biomarkers as tracers of mercury sources in lakes water column

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    This study presents the role of specific terrigenous organic compounds as important vectors of mercury (Hg) transported from watersheds to lakes of the Canadian boreal forest. In order to differentiate the autochthonous from the allochthonous organic matter (OM), lignin derived biomarker signatures [Lambda, S/V, C/V, P/(V ? S), 3,5-Bd/V and (Ad/Al)v] were used. Since lignin is exclusively produced by terrigenous plants, this approach can give a non equivocal picture of the watershed inputs to the lakes. Moreover, it allows a characterization of the source of OM and its state of degradation. The water column of six lakes from the Canadian Shield was sampled monthly between June and September 2005. Lake total dissolved Hg concentrations and Lambda were positively correlated, meaning that Hg and ligneous inputs are linked (dissolved OM r2 = 0.62, p\0.0001; particulate OM r2 = 0.76, p\0.0001). Ratios of P/(V ? S) and 3,5-Bd/V from both dissolved OM and particulate OM of the water column suggest an inverse relationship between the progressive state of pedogenesis and maturation of the OM in soil before entering the lake, and the Hg concentrations in the water column. No relation was found between Hg levels in the lakes and the watershed flora composition—angiosperm versus gymnosperm or woody versus non-woody compounds. This study has significant implications for watershed management of ecosystems since limiting fresh terrestrial OM inputs should reduce Hg inputs to the aquatic systems. This is particularly the case for largescale land-use impacts, such as deforestation, agriculture and urbanization, associated to large quantities of soil OM being transferred to aquatic systems

    An empirical Bayes model for gene expression and methylation profiles in antiestrogen resistant breast cancer

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The nuclear transcription factor estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha) is the target of several antiestrogen therapeutic agents for breast cancer. However, many ER-alpha positive patients do not respond to these treatments from the beginning, or stop responding after being treated for a period of time. Because of the association of gene transcription alteration and drug resistance and the emerging evidence on the role of DNA methylation on transcription regulation, understanding of these relationships can facilitate development of approaches to re-sensitize breast cancer cells to treatment by restoring DNA methylation patterns.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We constructed a hierarchical empirical Bayes model to investigate the simultaneous change of gene expression and promoter DNA methylation profiles among wild type (WT) and OHT/ICI resistant MCF7 breast cancer cell lines.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We found that compared with the WT cell lines, almost all of the genes in OHT or ICI resistant cell lines either do not show methylation change or hypomethylated. Moreover, the correlations between gene expression and methylation are quite heterogeneous across genes, suggesting the involvement of other factors in regulating transcription. Analysis of our results in combination with H3K4me2 data on OHT resistant cell lines suggests a clear interplay between DNA methylation and H3K4me2 in the regulation of gene expression. For hypomethylated genes with alteration of gene expression, most (~80%) are up-regulated, consistent with current view on the relationship between promoter methylation and gene expression.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>We developed an empirical Bayes model to study the association between DNA methylation in the promoter region and gene expression. Our approach generates both global (across all genes) and local (individual gene) views of the interplay. It provides important insight on future effort to develop therapeutic agent to re-sensitize breast cancer cells to treatment.</p

    Global cooling as a driver of diversification in a major marine clade

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    Climate is a strong driver of global diversity and will become increasingly important as human influences drive temperature changes at unprecedented rates. Here we investigate diversification and speciation trends within a diverse group of aquatic crustaceans, the Anomura. We use a phylogenetic framework to demonstrate that speciation rate is correlated with global cooling across the entire tree, in contrast to previous studies. Additionally, we find that marine clades continue to show evidence of increased speciation rates with cooler global temperatures, while the single freshwater clade shows the opposite trend with speciation rates positively correlated to global warming. Our findings suggest that both global cooling and warming lead to diversification and that habitat plays a role in the responses of species to climate change. These results have important implications for our understanding of how extant biota respond to ongoing climate change and are of particular importance for conservation planning of marine ecosystems

    Public perceptions of quarantine: community-based telephone survey following an infectious disease outbreak

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The use of restrictive measures such as quarantine draws into sharp relief the dynamic interplay between the individual rights of the citizen on the one hand and the collective rights of the community on the other. Concerns regarding infectious disease outbreaks (SARS, pandemic influenza) have intensified the need to understand public perceptions of quarantine and other social distancing measures.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We conducted a telephone survey of the general population in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) technology was used. A final sample of 500 individuals was achieved through standard random-digit dialing.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Our data indicate strong public support for the use of quarantine when required and for serious legal sanctions against those who fail to comply. This support is contingent both on the implementation of legal safeguards to protect against inappropriate use and on the provision of psychosocial supports for those affected.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>To engender strong public support for quarantine and other restrictive measures, government officials and public health policy-makers would do well to implement a comprehensive system of supports and safeguards, to educate and inform frontline public health workers, and to engage the public at large in an open dialogue on the ethical use of restrictive measures during infectious disease outbreaks.</p

    Search for gamma-ray emission from magnetars with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

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    We report on the search for 0.1-10 GeV emission from magnetars in 17 months of Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations. No significant evidence for gamma-ray emission from any of the currently-known magnetars is found. The most stringent upper limits to date on their persistent emission in the Fermi-LAT energy range are estimated between ~10^{-12}-10^{-10} erg/s/cm2, depending on the source. We also searched for gamma-ray pulsations and possible outbursts, also with no significant detection. The upper limits derived support the presence of a cut-off at an energy below a few MeV in the persistent emission of magnetars. They also show the likely need for a revision of current models of outer gap emission from strongly magnetized pulsars, which, in some realizations, predict detectable GeV emission from magnetars at flux levels exceeding the upper limits identified here using the Fermi-LAT observations.Comment: ApJ Letters in press; Corresponding authors: Caliandro G. A., Hadasch D., Rea N., Burnett